How to Choose the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Avra Valley Arizona
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Avra Valley AZ that will provide the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they carry out in the Avra Valley AZ health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Avra Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Avra Valley AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Schools
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Avra Valley AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Avra Valley AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Avra Valley AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Avra Valley AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Avra Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local Avra Valley AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Avra Valley Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Avra Valley AZ.