How to Pick the Right LPN or LVN Program Near Chandler Arizona
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Chandler AZ that will deliver the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching 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 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 section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the Chandler AZ healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Chandler AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN or LVN near Chandler AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and ideally accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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.
Attending LVN and LPN Classes Online
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Chandler AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. 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 essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Chandler Arizona.
- Reputation. Check online 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 too. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local 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 best way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations 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 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 specific 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 provides a top-notch education, but also preps 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Chandler AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain 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 School
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Chandler Arizona.