Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training
How to Choose the Best One Near Northport Alabama
One of the first things that you need to do after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN college near Northport AL that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying vocation of nursing. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Other than the names, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. Both practice in medical facilities supervised by Physicians and Registered Nurses and fulfill the same job functions. However, as we will discuss in this report, their daily job activities can vary depending on the state where they are employed. Many new students start looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their homes and of those lean towards the one that is least expensive. But there are additional qualifications that a school must have and a decision should not be made based on location and cost alone. Such as are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's take a look at what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Northport AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Northport AL. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things 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 online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Northport AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Northport 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) in addition to 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Northport AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN or LVN schools you are looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Northport AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Northport AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Northport LPN or LVN School
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Northport Alabama.