How to Pick the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing School near Payson Arizona
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Payson AZ that will deliver the right 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, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While cost and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they complete in the Payson AZ health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Payson AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Payson AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering 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 pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Schools
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Payson AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that 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 pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Payson AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Payson AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs vary 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, 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 Payson 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Payson AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Payson AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Payson Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Payson AZ.