How to Select the Right LPN or LVN School Near Marana Arizona
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Marana AZ that will deliver the right instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from 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. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are relevant considerations, 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 additional questions that you should ask potential 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 many duties that they carry out in the Marana AZ medical facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required 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 direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical care is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Marana AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN or LVN near Marana AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain 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 advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Attending LVN and LPN Online Classes
Attending LPN programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Marana AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What 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 guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Marana 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 manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense 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 before making your final selection, 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Marana Arizona.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Marana 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 ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local Marana 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 prerequisites for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an approved school. Many states require a specific 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 exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Marana AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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.
Choose the Right Marana Licensed Vocational Nurse School
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Marana Arizona.