Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Choose the Right One Near Phenix City Alabama
A first step that you need to take after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN college near Phenix City AL that will help you enter the gratifying field of nursing. If you reside in California or Texas, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LVN and an LPN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. Most nursing candidates start searching for schools that are within driving 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. For example 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's have a look at what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Phenix City AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Phenix City AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions 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 online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Phenix City AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Phenix City AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs vary 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Phenix City AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Phenix City AL medical 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. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Phenix City AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Phenix City LPN or LVN School
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Phenix City Alabama.