How to Pick the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing School near Rio Rico Arizona
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Rio Rico AZ that will provide the appropriate 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, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about 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 instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they carry out in the Rio Rico AZ medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though 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 medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job duties being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Rio Rico AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Rio Rico AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Rio Rico AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What 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 web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt 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 lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Rio Rico AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different 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. Certain states require a specified 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 readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch 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 judgements 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 complete 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Rio Rico AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually 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 a working relationship with nearby Rio Rico AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Rio Rico Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Rio Rico AZ.