How to Find the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes near Safford Arizona
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Safford AZ that will deliver the proper training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Safford AZ healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job duties being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other Safford AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN CoursesThere are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Safford AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Schools
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Safford AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Safford AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Safford AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific 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 provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Safford 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 programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Safford AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Safford AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Safford Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you enroll in 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 list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Safford AZ.