How to Choose the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes near Goodyear Arizona
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Goodyear AZ that will deliver the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection 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 additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they accomplish in the Goodyear AZ health care facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Goodyear AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Goodyear AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus 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 schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Goodyear AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe 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, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Goodyear AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Goodyear AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Goodyear 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 programs 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Goodyear AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Goodyear AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Goodyear Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Goodyear AZ.