How to Enroll In the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Lake Montezuma Arizona
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Lake Montezuma AZ that will deliver the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching 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 healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course 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 education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Lake Montezuma AZ health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be accountable for monitoring 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, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Lake Montezuma AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Lake Montezuma AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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 course of study effectively 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 becoming a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Lake Montezuma AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other 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. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Lake Montezuma AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Lake Montezuma 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) along with 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy 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 all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Lake Montezuma 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Lake Montezuma AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Lake Montezuma AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Lake Montezuma Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Lake Montezuma AZ.