How to Pick the Right LPN or LVN School near Maricopa Arizona
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Maricopa AZ that will deliver the necessary instruction. 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 health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. While cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications 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 extremely important also. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they perform in the Maricopa AZ medical facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of 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 daily work functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Maricopa AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Maricopa AZ. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Maricopa AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Maricopa AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. 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 pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Maricopa 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified 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 provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Maricopa 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 looking at 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Maricopa AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Maricopa AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Maricopa Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick 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 a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Maricopa AZ.