Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Choose the Best One Near Oxford Alabama
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Oxford AL that will provide the necessary instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Other than 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 the same job functions. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While cost and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. 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 training 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 Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Oxford AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Oxford AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number 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 approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional 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. So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Once 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 use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Oxford AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Oxford 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) together 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 attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Oxford AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 complete 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 favorable reputation within the Oxford AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Oxford AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Oxford LPN or LVN Program
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Oxford Alabama.