Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Choose the Best One Near Pelham Alabama
One of the first things that you need to do after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN program near Pelham AL that will help you enter the gratifying field of nursing. California or Texas residents will instead enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LVN and an LPN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. But there are additional credentials that a school must have and a decision should not be made based on location and cost alone. Such as do the schools offer job placement assistance and do they have high placement rates, which are both extremely important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's look at what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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LVN and LPN Degree and Certificate Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Pelham AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Pelham AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once 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 internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Pelham AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Pelham AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Pelham 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 superb reputation within the Pelham AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Pelham AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Pelham LPN or LVN Program
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent 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 select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Pelham Alabama.