How to Enroll In the Best LVN or LPN College Near Drexel Heights Arizona
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Drexel Heights AZ that will furnish the proper 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. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria 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 as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the function 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 a number of duties that they perform in the Drexel Heights AZ health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Drexel Heights AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN or LVN near Drexel Heights AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option 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 complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately 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
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Drexel Heights AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household responsibilities 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 hectic schedule.
Questions 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 on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Drexel Heights Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent 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. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Drexel Heights 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 most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Drexel Heights 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 requirements for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an approved school. Many states require a certain 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 excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain 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.
Pick the Right Drexel Heights Licensed Practical Nurse Program
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you choose 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 develop a short list of schools to select 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 Drexel Heights Arizona.