How to Find the Best LPN or LVN Program near Mesa Arizona
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Mesa AZ that will deliver the appropriate training. If you reside 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 perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the role 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 carry out in the Mesa AZ health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job duties being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Mesa AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN CoursesThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Mesa AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage 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 kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Schools Online
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Mesa AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy 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 online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Mesa AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Mesa AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with 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 important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online 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. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Mesa 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 superb reputation within the Mesa AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Mesa AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Mesa Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Mesa AZ.