How to Pick the Best LPN or LVN Classes Near Goodyear Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Goodyear AZ that will provide the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, 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 program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they perform in the Goodyear AZ health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Goodyear AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN or LVN near Goodyear AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Attending LPN and LVN Online Courses
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Goodyear AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What 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 pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Goodyear Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Goodyear Arizona.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Goodyear 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 best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Goodyear AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help 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 differ 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Goodyear AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help 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.
Pick the Best Goodyear Licensed Practical Nurse School
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick 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 a Licensed Practical Nurse in Goodyear Arizona.