How to Pick the Best LPN or LVN Training Program Near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Lake Havasu City AZ that will deliver the appropriate 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, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant points to consider, 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 very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they carry out in the Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Lake Havasu City AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 guarantees 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 Online Classes
Attending LPN programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Lake Havasu City AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active 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 online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Lake Havasu City Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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. Aside from helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Lake Havasu City Arizona.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby 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 acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Lake Havasu City 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 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) along with 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet 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 complete 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Lake Havasu City AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain 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 Lake Havasu City Licensed Practical Nurse Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Lake Havasu City Arizona.