Choosing the right practical nursing program is a matter of finding a school that meets all of the requirements for licensure through national accrediting associations, has a high pass rate for all state issued tests, and has a reasonable tuition rate as compared to other schools in the area. Here are a few things to look into before choosing to enroll in your first practical nursing courses.
- Accreditation - Accreditation for a school means that the school has been recognized as meeting minimum industry standards for educational quality. In most cases, you will not be able to transfer credits or degree credentials to another school unless they come from an accredited institution. In the nursing world, the National League of Nursing Accrediting Agency (NLNAC) is in charge of determining whether a school's practical nursing program meets these standards.
- Pass Rates - In order to become a licensed practical nursing professional you must first complete school and then pass a state issued NCLEX-PN test. The board of nursing keeps records on how many of these tests are issued by institution, as well as how many of their students pass and fail. This information is openly published for students and professionals to use when determining which school they wish to attend. Schools with higher pass rates obviously provide a more thorough education and will give you a better chance of completing your practical nursing program successfully.
- Tuition Rates - Tuition is the hottest topic when it comes to any higher education program. For students interested in a practical nursing program, the tuition can vary from around $20,000 to over $30,000. The difference in cost from one program to the other can be attributed to the individual school that is offering the nursing program or to the average cost of other schools in the area.
- Facilities - Before making your final decision on any practical nursing program, take the time to visit their facilities and labs. Find out how their teaching materials will be presented to you and get a feel for the overall cleanliness and upkeep of the school's equipment. Take a good look around and decide whether or not you are going to be comfortable in those surroundings for the entirety of the program.
- Clinical Options - As part of any practical nursing program, you will be required to complete clinical hours in an active healthcare facility under a variety of different conditions. This includes pediatrics, emergency care and other categories. Find out which facilities in the area have partnered with the school to offer clinical hours so that you will know what your options are when you reach that point and can plan for travel and other considerations ahead of time.
The practical nursing field continues to grow quickly and new graduates are needed as hospitals are growing. Finding the right practical nursing program can be the pathway to a very lucrative and rewarding career. Begin your search by looking at accredited schools through the NLNAC, and compare their test pass rates and tuition expenses first. Once you have narrowed down your options, go for a few visits and decide on the school that offers up to date and well maintained facilities as well as positive connections with local care providers for clinical hours and possible job opportunities in the future.
Are you interested in an exciting, challenging, and life-changing career in nursing? Athena Career Academy can help put you on the path toward becoming a practical nurse in as little as one year. Contact us now at 419-329-4075 to learn how.
Athena Career Academy is located at:
5203 Airport Highway
Toledo, Ohio 43615
Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30AM to 4:30PM
Phone: (419) 329-4075