How to Select the Right LVN or LPN Classes Near Fountain Hills Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Fountain Hills AZ that will deliver the right instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course 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.
It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they accomplish in the Fountain Hills AZ healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Fountain Hills AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN ProgramsThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN or LVN near Fountain Hills AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering 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 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 guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Taking LPN and LVN Online Classes
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Fountain Hills AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What 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 online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Fountain Hills 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 workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary 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 selection 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. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Fountain Hills Arizona.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Fountain Hills 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 most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Fountain Hills 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 prerequisites for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an approved school. Many 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 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Fountain Hills AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain 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 Fountain Hills Licensed Vocational Nurse School
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Fountain Hills Arizona.