How to Select the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near Chandler Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Chandler AZ that will furnish the appropriate 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, apart 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. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as 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 course that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they carry out in the Chandler AZ healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job duties being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Chandler AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN ProgramsThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Chandler AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Schools
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Chandler AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce 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 options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Chandler AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Chandler AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different 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. Certain states require a specified 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 preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Chandler 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 Chandler AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Chandler AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Learn More About Chandler LVN or LPN Schools
Pick the Best Chandler Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you pick an LPN school 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 pick 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 Chandler AZ.
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