How to Select the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near Apache Junction Arizona
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Apache Junction AZ that will provide the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they carry out in the Apache Junction AZ health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Apache Junction AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Apache Junction AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Schools
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Apache Junction AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Apache Junction AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Apache Junction AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs vary 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Apache Junction AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Apache Junction AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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 prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Apache Junction AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Apache Junction Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Apache Junction AZ.