How to Pick the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training near Glendale Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Glendale AZ that will deliver the appropriate training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the job 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 functions that they perform in the Glendale AZ health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, 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 oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Glendale AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Glendale AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Glendale AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions 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 utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Glendale AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Glendale 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 nearby Glendale 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 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 Glendale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Glendale AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Glendale Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate 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 Glendale AZ.