How to Find the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near Saddlebrooke Arizona
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Saddlebrooke AZ that will provide the right instruction. If you reside 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 undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When starting 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 important considerations, they are not the only qualifications 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 also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover 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 numerous functions that they carry out in the Saddlebrooke AZ health 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 overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job duties being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Saddlebrooke AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally 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.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Saddlebrooke AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn 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, aside from offering 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 needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Saddlebrooke AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward 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 SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Saddlebrooke 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 already mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably 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 prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Saddlebrooke AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Saddlebrooke 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Saddlebrooke AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Saddlebrooke AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Saddlebrooke Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Saddlebrooke AZ.