Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Colleges
How to Select the Best One Near Oxford Alabama
A first step that you need to take after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN school near Oxford AL that will help you enter the gratifying profession of nursing. If you live in California or Texas, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LVN and an LPN. Both practice in health care facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform the same job functions. However, as we will cover in this article, their daily job activities can vary based on the state where they are employed. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are significant 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 additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's have a look at what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Degree and Certificate Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Oxford AL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is growing into a more in demand way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Oxford AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Oxford AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Oxford AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs and LVNs vary 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 specific 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Oxford 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Oxford AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. 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. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Oxford AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Oxford LPN or LVN Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Oxford Alabama.