How to Choose the Right LPN or LVN School Near Douglas Arizona
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Douglas 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 difference, aside from 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 functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they perform in the Douglas AZ medical facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Douglas AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Douglas AZ. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Attending LPN and LVN Courses Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Douglas AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things 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 internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous 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 select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Douglas Arizona.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Douglas 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 get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Douglas 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an approved school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative 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 practicing.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools you are looking at 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Douglas AZ healthcare 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.
Pick the Best Douglas Licensed Practical Nurse Training
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Douglas Arizona.