How to Pick the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training near Coolidge Arizona
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Coolidge AZ that will deliver the right education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching 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 medical 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 cover in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely 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 cover later in this article. But first, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they perform in the Coolidge AZ health care facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance 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. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily work activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Coolidge AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Coolidge AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Coolidge AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active 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 utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Coolidge AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 get an excellent 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 prerequisites 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- 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, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local 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 schools 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 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 Coolidge AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Coolidge AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Coolidge Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Coolidge AZ.