Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Programs
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Trussville Alabama
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Trussville AL that will deliver the appropriate education. Texas or California residents will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LVN and an LPN. They both practice in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and perform the same job functions. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. Most new students start searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their homes and of those target the one that is least expensive. But there are additional qualifications that a school should have and a decision should not be made based on cost and location alone. 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 even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LVN and LPN Degree and Certificate Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Trussville AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately 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 schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Trussville AL. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions 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 internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Trussville AL as well as within Alabama and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Trussville AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online 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 too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Trussville 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 programs you are considering 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 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 Trussville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Trussville AL community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Trussville LPN or LVN Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you enroll in 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 produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Trussville Alabama.