How to Select the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Drexel Heights Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Drexel Heights AZ that will provide the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But first, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they accomplish in the Drexel Heights AZ medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Drexel Heights AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Drexel Heights AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Drexel Heights AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require 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 solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions 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 checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Drexel Heights AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Drexel Heights AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to 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 enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Drexel Heights 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 schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish 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 favorable reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Drexel Heights AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Drexel Heights Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Drexel Heights AZ.