How to Enroll In the Right LPN or LVN Training Program Near Glendale Arizona
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Glendale AZ that will furnish the appropriate education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although price and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications 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 extremely important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they accomplish in the Glendale AZ medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Glendale AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN CoursesThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Glendale AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish 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 attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Attending LVN and LPN Online Classes
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Glendale AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
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 guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Glendale Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly 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 before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Glendale Arizona.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Glendale 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 get 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 too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Glendale AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an approved school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 Glendale AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist 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 Best Glendale Licensed Practical Nurse School
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Glendale Arizona.