How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN Training Program near El Mirage Arizona
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near El Mirage AZ that will provide the right education. If you reside 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. However their duties 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 prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. While price and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other 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 have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they complete in the El Mirage AZ health facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for overseeing 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. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other El Mirage 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.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near El Mirage AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish 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 attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in El Mirage AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What 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 on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near El Mirage AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near El Mirage 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements 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 looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local El Mirage 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 programs you are looking at 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the El Mirage AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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 requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local El Mirage AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right El Mirage Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in El Mirage AZ.