Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Programs
How to Pick the Best One Near Pell City Alabama
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Pell City AL that will furnish the appropriate education. Texas or California students will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both work in health care facilities supervised by Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and perform identical job duties. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. Most new students start searching for schools that are close to their homes and of those lean towards the one that has the lowest tuition. But there are other qualifications that a school should have and a decision should not be made based on cost and location alone. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's take a look at what is involved in the education and licensing process.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Pell City AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, 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 option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Pell City AL. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions 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 use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Pell City AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Pell City AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 delivers an excellent 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 reviews are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Pell City 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Pell City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Pell City AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Pell City LPN or LVN Program
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you select an LPN college 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 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Pell City Alabama.