How to Find the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Oro Valley Arizona
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Oro Valley AZ that will furnish the necessary 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, 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 supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although price and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss 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 many different tasks that they complete in the Oro Valley AZ healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine job functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work duties being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Oro Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN ProgramsThere are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Oro Valley AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Oro Valley AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household responsibilities 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 busy schedule.
Things 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 options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Oro Valley AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Oro Valley AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different 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. Some 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 provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Oro Valley 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 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Oro Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Oro Valley AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Oro Valley Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Oro Valley AZ.