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Things to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
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 internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Muscle Shoals AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Muscle Shoals AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs and LVNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Muscle Shoals 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Muscle Shoals AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Muscle Shoals AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.