How to Select the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near Big Park Arizona
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Big Park AZ that will provide the right training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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 supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they accomplish in the Big Park AZ healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Big Park AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are principally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Big Park AZ. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Schools Online
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Big Park AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions 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 utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Big Park AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Big Park AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Big Park 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Big Park AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Big Park AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Big Park Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Big Park AZ.