How to Choose the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Program near Queen Creek Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Queen Creek AZ that will furnish the necessary education. 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 carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's take a 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 a number of functions that they carry out in the Queen Creek AZ health care facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Queen Creek AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Queen Creek AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 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 option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus 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 Schools Online
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Queen Creek AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things 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 checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Queen Creek AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Queen Creek AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Queen Creek AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Queen Creek AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Queen Creek Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Queen Creek AZ.