How to Select the Best LVN or LPN Training Program Near Goodyear Arizona
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Goodyear AZ that will furnish the right education. 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 responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, such as 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 address later in this article.
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Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Goodyear Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final 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 as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Goodyear Arizona.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Goodyear 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 obtain 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 prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Goodyear AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist 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 criteria for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps 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 programs 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Goodyear AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain 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 Goodyear Licensed Practical Nurse School
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Goodyear Arizona.