How to Select the Best LPN or LVN Classes Near Florence Arizona
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Florence AZ that will provide the necessary training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the job 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 (LPNs) perform a number of basic nursing tasks. They work under doctors and registered nurses (RNs) in Florence AZ medical offices, hospitals, and health care facilities. They also might provide in-home care. LPNs carry out nursing tasks that are more complex than those that completed by nurse's aides but less complex than the duties of an RN. LPNs monitor the health of patients and look for signs that their health is deteriorating or improving. They check vital signs and watch for changes in monitor readings. Licensed Practical Nurses perform basic nursing functions like changing bandages and wound dressings. They comfort patients and make sure basic needs such as food and fluid intake are in order. Licensed practical nurses may also administer medications in some settings depending on institutional and state standards. LPNs work in a variety of health care environments as part of a team that includes doctors, registered nurses, and others. They serve in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, health clinics, and private physician practices. Some also provide health care services at peoples’ homes. Nurses have to be able to stand on their feet for most of the day. They may need to help lift or move patients as well.
LPN and LVN ProgramsIf you want to become a licensed practical nurse, you must first complete one year of coursework to earn a certificate or a diploma in an accredited LPN/LVN program. Most states have dozens of accredited colleges, technical schools, and hospitals that offer LPN/LVN programs. The first consideration you must make when becoming an LPN is which school you will attend. This can be a difficult choice. When choosing a school, choose one which is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. One well-known accrediting agency is the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. After satisfying the LPN program coursework and grade requirements laid out by your state’s Board of Nursing, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN, or the National Council Licensure Examination. This exam is mandatory for all LPN/LVN's in the U.S. and can be scheduled through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
Taking LPN and LVN Courses Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Florence AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue 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, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Florence Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Florence Arizona.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Florence AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Florence 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 requirements for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Florence AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain 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.
Choose the Right Florence Licensed Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Florence Arizona.