How to Enroll In the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Prescott Valley Arizona
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Prescott Valley AZ that will deliver the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they perform in the Prescott Valley AZ health facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated 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 supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Prescott Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Prescott Valley AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Schools
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Prescott Valley AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household obligations have left you with very little 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 hectic 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 begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Prescott Valley AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably 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 prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Prescott Valley AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs differ 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. Certain states require a specific 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 preps you to satisfy 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 each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local 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 schools you are considering 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 superb reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Prescott Valley AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Prescott Valley Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose 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 Prescott Valley AZ.