How to Select the Right LPN or LVN College Near Chandler Arizona
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Chandler AZ that will furnish the right 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, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care 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 talk about in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those 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 criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are even more 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 job 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 many different duties that they carry out in the Chandler AZ health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work 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. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN or LVN near Chandler AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Attending LVN and LPN Online Courses
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain 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 may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of 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 select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Chandler Arizona.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. 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 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) along with graduation from an approved school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies 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 looking at 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Chandler AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help 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 Right Chandler Licensed Practical Nurse School
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Chandler Arizona.