How to Choose the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes near Casa Grande Arizona
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Casa Grande AZ that will deliver the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from 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. But their duties 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 begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they accomplish in the Casa Grande AZ healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Casa Grande AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN ProgramsThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Casa Grande AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Casa Grande AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that 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 checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Casa Grande AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Casa Grande AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Casa Grande AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Casa Grande AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Casa Grande AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Casa Grande Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Casa Grande AZ.