How to Find the Right LPN or LVN Course near Queen Creek Arizona
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Queen Creek AZ that will furnish 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, apart from 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 duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When beginning 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. While price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN 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 instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they complete in the Queen Creek AZ medical facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their domain. Each 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 job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Queen Creek AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Queen Creek AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Queen Creek AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow 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 guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Queen Creek 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 manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Queen Creek 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) along 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 attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Queen Creek 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 programs 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 Queen Creek AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local Queen Creek AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Queen Creek Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you pick an LPN school 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 produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Queen Creek AZ.