How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN College Near Apache Junction Arizona
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Apache Junction AZ that will furnish the appropriate 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, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) perform a number of basic nursing tasks. They work under doctors and registered nurses (RNs) in Apache Junction AZ medical offices, hospitals, and health care facilities. They also might provide in-home care. LPNs carry out nursing tasks that are more complex than those that completed by nurse's aides but less complex than the duties of an RN. LPNs monitor the health of patients and look for signs that their health is deteriorating or improving. They check vital signs and watch for changes in monitor readings. Licensed Practical Nurses perform basic nursing functions like changing bandages and wound dressings. They comfort patients and make sure basic needs such as food and fluid intake are in order. Licensed practical nurses may also administer medications in some settings depending on institutional and state standards. LPNs work in a variety of health care environments as part of a team that includes doctors, registered nurses, and others. They serve in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, health clinics, and private physician practices. Some also provide health care services at peoples’ homes. Nurses have to be able to stand on their feet for most of the day. They may need to help lift or move patients as well.
LVN and LPN CoursesSelecting the right LPN program is an important first step. Programs lead to a certificate, diploma, or an associate degree. Coursework for certificate, diploma, and degree programs can be completed online or in person. Hybrid programs allow aspiring LPNs to complete required courses in a virtual setting, while clinical hours must be fulfilled in person at an approved local site. Regardless of academic setting or type of program, LPNs in training cover much of the same core coursework. Full-time students usually take 12-15 credits per semester, learning necessary skills and knowledge by studying theories, completing lab assignments, and spending time in clinical settings. After completing LPN education requirements and earning their credential, students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN) before they can be licensed and hired to practice as an LPN.
Enrolling in LPN and LVN Online Classes
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Apache Junction AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Apache Junction Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Apache Junction Arizona.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Apache Junction 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 most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Apache Junction AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning 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 requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an approved school. Many states require a specific 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Apache Junction AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- 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.
Choose the Best Apache Junction Licensed Practical Nurse Training
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Apache Junction Arizona.