How to Pick the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Oro Valley Arizona
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Oro Valley AZ that will furnish the necessary instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, such as 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the role 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 duties that they carry out in the Oro Valley AZ medical facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Oro Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Oro Valley AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Oro Valley AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN 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, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Oro Valley AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Oro Valley AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet 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 all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Oro Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Oro Valley AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Oro Valley Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Oro Valley AZ.