How to Find the Right LPN or LVN Training Program near Florence Arizona
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Florence AZ that will furnish the necessary instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, 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 supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But 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 prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they accomplish in the Florence AZ health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Florence AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Florence AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum 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
Attending LPN schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Florence AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding 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 may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household responsibilities 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.
What 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 use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Florence AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Florence AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Florence 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Florence AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Florence AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Florence Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Florence AZ.