How to Select the Right LVN or LPN Program Near Chandler Arizona
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Chandler 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 distinction, 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. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although price and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications 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 various other 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 have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they carry out in the Chandler AZ healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Chandler AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN or LVN near Chandler AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 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 alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 attests 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 Online Courses
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Chandler AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things 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 internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Chandler 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 pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Chandler Arizona.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Chandler 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 most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Chandler 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 vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an approved school. Certain states require a certain 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 provides an outstanding 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Chandler AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain 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.
Choose the Best Chandler Licensed Practical Nurse Program
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select 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 an LPN in Chandler Arizona.