How to Select the Best LPN or LVN College near Golden Valley Arizona
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Golden Valley AZ that will deliver the proper 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, apart 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 differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example 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 cover later in this article. But first, let's take 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 duties that they carry out in the Golden Valley AZ healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Golden Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Golden Valley AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Golden Valley AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward 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 SchoolsNow 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 checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Golden Valley AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Golden Valley AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Golden Valley 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Golden Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Golden Valley AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Golden Valley Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick 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 Golden Valley AZ.