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How to Enroll In the Right LPN or LVN School Near Bullhead City Arizona

Bullhead City Arizona LPN reviewing patient file with doctorNow that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Bullhead City AZ that will provide the necessary 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, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.

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LPN and LVN Job Description

Bullhead City Arizona LPN checking on elderly woman in nursing home

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are an important part of the healthcare team, supporting doctors and nurses in caring for patients of all ages. LPNs work closely with registered nurses (RNs) and physicians to provide patients with basic nursing care. An LPN’s duties can vary slightly depending on the healthcare setting and the state in which they work. For example, some states do not permit LPNs to administer medication or start IV drips. In other states, experienced LPNs are able to supervise and manage less-experienced nurses or nursing aides.  Some of the typical duties of an LPN might include:

  • Monitoring patients
  • Taking patient vital signs and histories
  • Performing routine assessments, such as checking blood pressure
  • Changing bandages
  • Inserting IVs or catheters
  • Listening to patients’ concerns and reporting back to RNs and doctors
  • Ensuring patients are comfortable
  • Helping patients bathe or dress

LPNs can also work in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including Bullhead City AZ hospitals, doctor's offices and urgent care clinics. Due to an aging population, there is a growing need for LPNs in long-term care, such as rehabilitation centers, residential treatment centers and hospice. Most LPNs work in nursing and residential care facilities.

LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees

If you want to become a licensed practical nurse, you must first complete one year of coursework to earn a certificate or a diploma in an accredited LPN/LVN program. Most states have dozens of accredited colleges, technical schools, and hospitals that offer LPN/LVN programs. The first consideration you must make when becoming an LPN is which school you will attend. This can be a difficult choice. When choosing a school, choose one which is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. One well-known accrediting agency is the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.  After satisfying the LPN program coursework and grade requirements laid out by your state’s Board of Nursing, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN, or the National Council Licensure Examination. This exam is mandatory for all LPN/LVN's in the U.S. and can be scheduled through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. 

Enrolling in LVN and LPN Courses Online

Bullhead City Arizona licensed practical nurse greeting patient with crutches at entranceAttending LPN programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Bullhead City AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount 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 some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs

Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Bullhead City Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Bullhead City Arizona.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Bullhead City 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 prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local Bullhead City 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 criteria for LPNs are different 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also readies 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bullhead City AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain 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 Bullhead City

Choose the Best Bullhead City Licensed Practical Nurse School

Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN college 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 develop a short list 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 Nurse in Bullhead City Arizona.



 

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