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Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs

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 pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Marshalltown IA as well as within Iowa and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
 
  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Marshalltown IA.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Iowa school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Marshalltown 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Marshalltown IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Marshalltown IA community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

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