How to Choose the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Lake Havasu City AZ that will furnish the proper training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential 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 function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they perform in the Lake Havasu City AZ health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job functions being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Lake Havasu City AZ. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum 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 programs online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Lake Havasu City AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things 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 web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Lake Havasu City AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Lake Havasu City AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in 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 practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local 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 programs you are considering 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 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 Lake Havasu City AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- 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 mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Lake Havasu City AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Lake Havasu City Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 Lake Havasu City AZ.