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How to Pick the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training near Fountain Hills Arizona

Fountain Hills Arizona LPN with senior female patientOnce you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Fountain Hills AZ that will furnish the appropriate education. If you live 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 carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.

What does an LPN or LVN Do?

Fountain Hills Arizona LVN meeting patient on crutches at door

Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they perform in the Fountain Hills AZ medical facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only regulates 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:

    • Checking vital signs
    • Administering medicines
    • Starting IV drips
    • Monitoring patients
    • Getting blood or urine samples
    • Managing patient records
    • Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures

Along with their occupational responsibilities being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Fountain Hills AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.

LVN and LPN Training

There are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Fountain Hills AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide 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 attests that the core curriculum properly 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 Programs

Fountain Hills Arizona LVN with older male assisted living patientAttending LPN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Fountain Hills AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain 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 approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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 little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools

Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Fountain Hills AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
 
  • 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 make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Fountain Hills AZ.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements 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. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Fountain Hills AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 Fountain Hills AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Fountain Hills AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Find Out More About Fountain Hills LVN or LPN Nursing Training

Choose the Best Fountain Hills Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training

Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Fountain Hills AZ.



 

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