How to Select the Right LPN or LVN Course Near Green Valley Arizona
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Green Valley AZ that will deliver the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they accomplish in the Green Valley AZ health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work functions being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Green Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Green Valley AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to earn 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Taking LVN and LPN Classes Online
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Green Valley AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Green Valley Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Green Valley Arizona.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, 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 nearby Green Valley 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 environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Green Valley 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) in addition to graduation from an approved school. Certain 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Green Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist 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 Best Green Valley Licensed Practical Nurse School
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Green Valley Arizona.