How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN Training Near Douglas Arizona
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Douglas AZ that will furnish the appropriate education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than 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. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they carry out in the Douglas AZ healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, 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 guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Douglas AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN ProgramsThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Douglas AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, 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 attests that the course of study 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 Online Courses
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Douglas AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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 work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy 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 web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Douglas Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly 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 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. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Douglas Arizona.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Douglas 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 effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Douglas AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing 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 differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 Douglas 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.
Choose the Right Douglas Licensed Vocational Nurse School
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Douglas Arizona.