How to Choose the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training near Drexel Heights Arizona
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Drexel Heights AZ that will deliver the proper instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. While cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as 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 address later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they complete in the Drexel Heights AZ medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight 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. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job functions being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Drexel Heights AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Drexel Heights AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Schools
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Drexel Heights AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy 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 internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Drexel Heights AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Drexel Heights AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Drexel Heights 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Drexel Heights AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Drexel Heights Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Drexel Heights AZ.