How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Prescott Valley AZ that will deliver the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care 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 talk about in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they carry out in the Prescott Valley AZ medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically 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 encounter patients in need of medical care is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Prescott Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Prescott Valley AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 Schools Online
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Prescott Valley AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Prescott Valley AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely 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 before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Prescott Valley AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Prescott Valley 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Prescott Valley AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Prescott Valley Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you pick 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 create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Prescott Valley AZ.