How to Choose the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training 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) college near Prescott Valley AZ that will provide the necessary training. If you reside 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 undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, 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 training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they carry out in the Prescott Valley AZ medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Prescott Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Prescott Valley AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should 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 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 popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Prescott Valley AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What 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 on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous 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 workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price 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 ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality 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 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. Certain states require a certain 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations 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 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 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 good reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Prescott Valley AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Prescott Valley Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Prescott Valley AZ.