How to Choose the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Cottonwood Arizona
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Cottonwood AZ that will deliver the necessary instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, 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 a number of tasks that they complete in the Cottonwood AZ health 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 managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Cottonwood AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Cottonwood AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively 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 growing into a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Cottonwood AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Cottonwood AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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 as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Cottonwood 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) 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 enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Cottonwood 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 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 dissatisfied 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 Cottonwood AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Cottonwood AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Cottonwood Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Cottonwood AZ.