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How to Pick the Best LPN or LVN School Near Anthem Arizona

Anthem Arizona LPN reviewing patient file with doctorNow that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Anthem AZ that will furnish the right education. 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 carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare 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 talk about in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.

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What does an LPN or LVN Do?

Anthem Arizona licensed practical nurse visiting with elderly woman in assisted living facility

Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they carry out in the Anthem AZ health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance 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 encounter patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine work functions can include:

    • Checking vital signs
    • Giving medicines
    • Starting IV drips
    • Overseeing patients
    • Taking blood or urine samples
    • Managing patient records
    • Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures

In addition to their work functions being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Anthem AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.

LVN and LPN Courses

There are principally two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN or LVN near Anthem AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and ideally 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.

Taking LVN and LPN Online Courses

Anthem Arizona licensed practical nurse assisting patient with crutches at entranceAttending LPN programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Anthem AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family obligations 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 Schools

Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Anthem Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.

  • 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Anthem Arizona.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Anthem AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Anthem AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships. Also, it's important that you choose a school that offers clinical training in the type of facility you are most interested in.  For example, if you want training and experience in pediatric care, make sure that the school you choose provides adequate clinical rotation in an area Pediatric Hospital.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ 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 approved school. Many states require a certain 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs you are looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Anthem AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
  • NCLEX Exam Pass Rate.  Once you receive your certificate or diploma, you must sign up for and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).  Enrolling in a school with at least a 75% pass rate is highly preferred. Lower pass rates may indicate that a school’s program, curriculum or instructors are ineffective in teaching its students. You can find out from the school what their passing rate is for the last 5 years, or request the information from the State Board of Nursing.

Learn How to Become an LPN or LVN in Anthem

Choose the Best Anthem Licensed Practical Nurse School

Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Anthem Arizona.



 

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