How to Choose the Right LPN or LVN Training Near Drexel Heights Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Drexel Heights AZ that will deliver 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, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's 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 tasks that they complete in the Drexel Heights AZ healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Drexel Heights AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Drexel Heights AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Enrolling in LVN and LPN Online Classes
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Drexel Heights AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Drexel Heights Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. 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 measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Drexel Heights Arizona.
- Reputation. Visit 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 also. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Drexel Heights 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 get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Drexel Heights 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 differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an approved school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent 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 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 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 Drexel Heights AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain 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 Drexel Heights Licensed Vocational Nurse School
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Drexel Heights Arizona.