How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN Classes Near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Catalina Foothills AZ that will provide the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction 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 Catalina Foothills 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.
LPN Certificates and DegreesSelecting 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.
Taking LVN and LPN Classes Online
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Catalina Foothills AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Catalina Foothills Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Catalina Foothills Arizona.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Catalina Foothills 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 requirements 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 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 excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements 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 superb reputation within the Catalina Foothills AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help 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 Right Catalina Foothills Licensed Practical Nurse Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick 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 an LPN in Catalina Foothills Arizona.