How to Find the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near Coolidge Arizona
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Coolidge AZ that will furnish the proper 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. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover 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 does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they perform in the Coolidge AZ health care facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work duties being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Coolidge AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Coolidge AZ. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Coolidge AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow 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 guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Coolidge 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 workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Coolidge AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 call some nearby Coolidge AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs you are looking at 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Coolidge AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Coolidge AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Coolidge Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Coolidge AZ.