How to Enroll In the Best LPN or LVN Training near Gilbert Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Gilbert AZ that will deliver the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. 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 expensive. Although cost and location are significant considerations, 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 various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's take 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 numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Gilbert AZ healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example 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 controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Gilbert AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Gilbert AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying 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 type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively 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 schools online is growing into a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Gilbert AZ. Certain schools will require attendance 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 facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Gilbert 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 already discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with 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 securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Gilbert AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Gilbert 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 schools you are looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Gilbert AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually 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 a working relationship with nearby Gilbert AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Gilbert Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Gilbert AZ.