How to Enroll In the Best LPN or LVN Program Near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Catalina Foothills AZ that will furnish the necessary instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although price and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance 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 course that we will discuss 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 education and licensing process.
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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they perform in the Catalina Foothills AZ medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Catalina Foothills AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Attending LVN and LPN Online Classes
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Catalina Foothills AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once 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 guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Catalina Foothills Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely 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 final decision, 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. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Catalina Foothills Arizona.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Catalina Foothills 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 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) as well as graduation from an approved school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain 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 Right Catalina Foothills Licensed Practical Nurse School
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Catalina Foothills Arizona.