How to Choose the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Lake Havasu City AZ that will deliver the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although price 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 very important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they perform in the Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Lake Havasu City 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 Certificates and DegreesThere are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Lake Havasu City AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some 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.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Lake Havasu City AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Lake Havasu City AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Lake Havasu City 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments 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 speak with some nearby Lake Havasu City 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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 environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Lake Havasu City AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right Lake Havasu City Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Lake Havasu City AZ.