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What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools

Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Decorah IA as well as within Iowa and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
 
  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Decorah IA.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Iowa school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Decorah IA 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 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Decorah IA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Decorah IA community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

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