Numerous practical nursing programs are available, each one claiming to be the best program for everyone. But how can you tell which practical nursing program best suits you?
Without a doubt, you should attend a practical nursing program at a facility that is accredited by the state, and nationally as well. Governing bodies over educational institutions provide criteria needed for accreditation. Non-accredited schools may have lower quality courses, and graduates from these facilities may have a more difficult time finding a job.
NCLEX-PN Pass Rates
Each program should maintain statistics on the pass rates of the NCLEX, which you will need to practice as a practical nurse. The closer to a hundred percent pass rate, the more that the program adequately prepares students for passing the licensing test. Check these statistics as you look for a quality practical nursing program.
Job Placement Statistics
Ultimately, the endgame of completing a practical nursing program is actually working as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, programs with high job placement rates indicate that they produce graduates who inspire confidence with employers.
Program Flexibility and Length
Think about how much time you are able to dedicate to your LPN program. Is it something you can do full-time or just in the evenings? Would some online classes work for your learning style and schedule? When evaluating LPN programs, look at what will work best for you. Also, some programs are accelerated, which means a more intense workload, but an earlier completion date. Some are part-time programs, which take longer but offer a more manageable pace for students with other responsibilities.
Let's not forget that the cost of practical nursing programs can vary, so do your homework on the cost of tuition, as well as additional fees. See if the program you are interested in is affordable, and if they offer financial aid. Shop smart, and find the program that gives you the best value for your money.
Ultimately, the best program for one person may be different from that of another person as far as cost and program length are concerned. However, do not skimp on the accreditation or NCLEX-PN pass rates, as they are your ticket to earning a good job as a licensed practical nurse. If you know someone who attended a particular school, talk to them about their experiences. Practical nursing programs can be your first step in a fulfilling career as a licensed practical nurse, so take some time to research which program will best help you on your way.
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