How to Enroll In the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Program near Green Valley Arizona
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Green Valley AZ that will furnish the appropriate instruction. 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. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are relevant considerations, 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they complete in the Green Valley AZ health facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring 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 routine work activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work functions being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Green Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Green Valley AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Green Valley AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require 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 option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Green Valley AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Green Valley AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit 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. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Green Valley 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Green Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Green Valley AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Green Valley Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Green Valley AZ.