Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Programs
How to Choose the Best One Near Montgomery Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Montgomery AL that will deliver the right instruction. If you live in California or Texas, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Apart from the names, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. Both work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill identical job functions. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. Most nursing candidates begin by looking for schools that are close to their homes and of those lean towards the one that is least expensive. Even though price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both very important too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about below.
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Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Montgomery AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Montgomery AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs and LVNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Montgomery AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN or LVN schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Montgomery AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Montgomery AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Montgomery LPN or LVN School
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Montgomery Alabama.