How to Find the Right LVN or LPN Course Near Flagstaff Arizona
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Flagstaff AZ that will furnish the right instruction. If you reside 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 undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare 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 cover in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address 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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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
A licensed practical nurse cares for the basic medical needs of a patient by monitoring their blood pressure and other vital signs and providing the person with the necessities of basic comforts like bathing or other needs. LPNs work in a variety of health care systems. Settings can range from Flagstaff AZ clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, extended care facilities, clinics, and even private practices. Depending on each state’s regulations, LPNs may be involved in medical care such as inserting catheters, intravenous drips (IVs), assisting to deliver babies, or giving approved medication. They would be responsible for keeping accurate records of a patient such as their history, diagnosis, progress, and any new medical problem that may occur and inform the doctor or registered nurse. He or she is overseen by a doctor or registered nurse. Many facilities require work hours to exceed the normal 8-hour shifts. Therefore, according to the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, it’s necessary to have physical strength and stamina due to the direct care to patients you will provide. An LPN should be compassionate, patient in difficult situations, and have interpersonal skills. They should have the ability to communicate clearly and be an attentive listener.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesAfter deciding on the type of program to pursue, students need to find one approved by their state. Each state establishes its own educational requirements for LPNs and approves the schools offering credentials. Most yearlong programs are offered by junior colleges, hospitals, community colleges or technical schools, and provide the opportunity for supervised practical nursing clinical experience. In some cases applicants can get a head start by completing prerequisites in mathematics, chemistry, biology, English and psychology prior to enrolling; however, these are not always required so students should check their program’s requirements first. Admission varies by state, although applicants need at least a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in a nursing certificate or diploma program. Additionally, some schools may require applicants to pass an entrance exam prior to acceptance to an LPN certificate program. Upon completion of an approved LPN/LVN diploma or certificate program, graduates sign up to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). All states and the District of Columbia mandate the NCLEX-PN competency exam as a core requirement to be employed as an LPN.
Taking LVN and LPN Online Classes
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Flagstaff AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
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 utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Flagstaff Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, 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 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. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Flagstaff Arizona.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Flagstaff 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 obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local Flagstaff AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning 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 vary 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Flagstaff AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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.
Choose the Right Flagstaff Licensed Practical Nurse School
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Flagstaff Arizona.