How to Select the Right LPN or LVN Training Program near Glendale Arizona
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Glendale AZ that will provide the necessary training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare 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 look at in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they carry out in the Glendale AZ health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical care 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 day-to-day job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Glendale AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN ProgramsThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Glendale AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study 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 programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Glendale AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training 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 online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Glendale AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Glendale 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Glendale 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Glendale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Glendale AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Glendale Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Glendale AZ.