Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Pick the Best One Near Prichard Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Prichard AL that will provide the proper instruction. Texas or California residents will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Apart from the titles, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. They both work in health care facilities supervised by Physicians and Registered Nurses and fulfill identical job duties. Although, as we will cover in this report, their daily job functions can vary based on the state where they are employed. Many nursing candidates begin by looking for schools that are close to their homes and of those lean towards the one that is least expensive. While tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. 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 discuss later in this article. But to start with, 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 scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Prichard AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader 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 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 attests that the course of study 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
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Prichard AL. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What 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 web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Prichard AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Prichard AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs and LVNs differ 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. Some 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 outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services 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, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Prichard 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Prichard AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Prichard AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Prichard LPN or LVN Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Prichard Alabama.