How to Select the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Catalina Arizona
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Catalina AZ that will deliver the right instruction. 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 carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they perform in the Catalina AZ health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job functions being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Catalina AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Catalina AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Catalina AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount 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 solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that 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 Catalina AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Catalina AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs differ 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. Certain 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 enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Catalina 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Catalina AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Catalina AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Catalina Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Catalina AZ.