How to Find the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near Coolidge Arizona
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Coolidge AZ that will furnish the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical 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 talk about in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example 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 training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different functions that they carry out in the Coolidge AZ health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical 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 seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job functions being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Coolidge AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Coolidge AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Schools
Attending LPN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Coolidge AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things 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 on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, 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 lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Coolidge AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine 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 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Coolidge AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Coolidge AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Coolidge Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Coolidge AZ.