How to Choose the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing School near Laveen Arizona
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Laveen AZ that will furnish the proper instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the job 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 different tasks that they complete in the Laveen AZ medical facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight 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. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine job functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Laveen AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Laveen AZ. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn 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, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive 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 warrants 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 Schools Online
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Laveen AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family commitments 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 hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Laveen 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 already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Laveen AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, 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 Laveen 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 looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Laveen AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Laveen AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Laveen Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Laveen AZ.