How to Pick the Best LPN or LVN Course near Rio Rico Arizona
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Rio Rico AZ that will furnish the right training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. While cost and location are relevant factors, 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 as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they complete in the Rio Rico AZ health care facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision 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 find patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Rio Rico AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Rio Rico AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter 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 warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Rio Rico AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount 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 convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue 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.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Rio Rico AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary 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 along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Rio Rico 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, 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 comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Rio Rico 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 Rio Rico AZ medical 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. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Rio Rico AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Rio Rico Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Rio Rico AZ.