Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Find the Best One Near Troy Alabama
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Troy AL that will provide the necessary instruction. If you reside in California or Texas, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Other than the titles, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. Both practice in medical facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and fulfill the same job functions. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection 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 additional 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 first, let's take a look at what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Troy AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Troy AL. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
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 internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Troy 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 workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Troy 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Troy 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 considering 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 good reputation within the Troy AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Troy AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Troy LPN or LVN Program
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose 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 Troy Alabama.