Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Choose the Best One Near Selma Alabama
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Selma AL that will provide the necessary education. California or Texas 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 LPN and LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However, as we will cover in this article, their daily job activities can differ based on the state where they are employed. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. But there are additional qualifications that a school should have and a selection 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 extremely important too. There are even more 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 to start with, let's have a look at what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Selma AL. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, 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 core curriculum properly 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
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Selma AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things 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 on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Selma AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Selma AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies 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 assessments are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Selma 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Selma AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Selma AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Selma LPN or LVN School
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Selma Alabama.