How to Find the Right LPN or LVN Course near Catalina Arizona
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Catalina AZ that will provide the appropriate 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, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, 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 first, 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 complete in the Catalina AZ health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking 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 based on the state, their everyday job functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work functions being controlled 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. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Catalina AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader 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 provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively 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 programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Catalina AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow 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 start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Catalina AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Catalina 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Catalina AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Catalina AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Catalina Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final 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 Catalina AZ.