How to Choose the Best LVN or LPN School Near Avondale Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Avondale AZ that will deliver the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are relevant points to consider, 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 also. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss 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.
It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they perform in the Avondale AZ health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Avondale AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN or LVN near Avondale AZ. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth 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 ideally accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Enrolling in LVN and LPN Courses Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Avondale AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things 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 utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Avondale Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Avondale Arizona.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Avondale 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 effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local Avondale AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist 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 vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an approved school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Avondale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain 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.
Pick the Best Avondale Licensed Practical Nurse Training
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Avondale Arizona.