How to Choose the Right LVN or LPN Classes Near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Lake Havasu City AZ that will provide the necessary 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 carry out the same job functions and work in health care 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 beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications 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 too. 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 first, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they perform in the Lake Havasu City AZ health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN or LVN near Lake Havasu City AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Taking LVN and LPN Classes Online
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Lake Havasu City AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
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 checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Lake Havasu City Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Lake Havasu City Arizona.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Lake Havasu City 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. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Lake Havasu City 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 requirements 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain 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 Right Lake Havasu City Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Lake Havasu City Arizona.