How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN Course Near Gilbert Arizona
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Gilbert AZ that will furnish the right training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are significant considerations, 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 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.
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What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Gilbert 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 previously discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Gilbert Arizona.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Gilbert 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 effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Gilbert AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist 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 criteria 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. 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 exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Gilbert AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain 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 Gilbert Licensed Practical Nurse Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Gilbert Arizona.