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How to Select the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Prescott Arizona

Prescott Arizona LVN with senior woman patientNow that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Prescott AZ that will furnish the proper training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, 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. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.

What does an LPN or LVN Do?

Prescott Arizona LVN meeting patient on crutches at door

Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they perform in the Prescott AZ healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical 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 seeking medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities can include:

    • Measuring vital signs
    • Giving medicines
    • Setting up IV drips
    • Monitoring patients
    • Taking blood or urine samples
    • Managing patient records
    • Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures

In addition to their job functions being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Prescott AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.

LPN and LVN Courses

There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Prescott AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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 Programs

Prescott Arizona LVN with elderly male assisted living patientEnrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Prescott AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools

Now that 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 are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Prescott AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. 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 other schools.
 
  • 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Prescott AZ.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards 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 organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Prescott AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Prescott AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
  • 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 certain 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 Prescott AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Learn More About Prescott LVN or LPN Nursing Training

Pick the Right Prescott Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training

Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Prescott AZ.



 

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