How to Pick the Right LPN or LVN Program Near Chandler Arizona
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Chandler AZ that will furnish 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 distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are significant points to consider, 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 as well. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, 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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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they carry out in the Chandler AZ health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine job activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Chandler AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN or LVN near Chandler AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Enrolling in LPN and LVN Online Courses
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Chandler AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that 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 are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Chandler Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Chandler Arizona.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Chandler 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 get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Chandler AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement 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 are different 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy 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 finish 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Chandler AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships 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.
Pick the Right Chandler Licensed Practical Nurse Training
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Chandler Arizona.