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How to Find the Right LVN or LPN School Near New River Arizona

New River Arizona LPN checking patient chart with doctorNow that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near New River AZ that will furnish the right instruction. If you live 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 health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.

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What does an LPN or LVN Do?

New River Arizona LPN checking on elderly woman in assisted living facility

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are an important part of the healthcare team, supporting doctors and nurses in caring for patients of all ages. LPNs work closely with registered nurses (RNs) and physicians to provide patients with basic nursing care. An LPN’s duties can vary slightly depending on the healthcare setting and the state in which they work. For example, some states do not permit LPNs to administer medication or start IV drips. In other states, experienced LPNs are able to supervise and manage less-experienced nurses or nursing aides.  Some of the typical duties of an LPN might include:

  • Monitoring patients
  • Taking patient vital signs and histories
  • Performing routine assessments, such as checking blood pressure
  • Changing bandages
  • Inserting IVs or catheters
  • Listening to patients’ concerns and reporting back to RNs and doctors
  • Ensuring patients are comfortable
  • Helping patients bathe or dress

LPNs can also work in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including New River AZ hospitals, doctor's offices and urgent care clinics. Due to an aging population, there is a growing need for LPNs in long-term care, such as rehabilitation centers, residential treatment centers and hospice. Most LPNs work in nursing and residential care facilities.

LPN and LVN Training

If you want to become a licensed practical nurse, you must first complete one year of coursework to earn a certificate or a diploma in an accredited LPN/LVN program. Most states have dozens of accredited colleges, technical schools, and hospitals that offer LPN/LVN programs. The first consideration you must make when becoming an LPN is which school you will attend. This can be a difficult choice. When choosing a school, choose one which is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. One well-known accrediting agency is the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.  After satisfying the LPN program coursework and grade requirements laid out by your state’s Board of Nursing, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN, or the National Council Licensure Examination. This exam is mandatory for all LPN/LVN's in the U.S. and can be scheduled through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. 

Taking LVN and LPN Online Classes

New River Arizona licensed practical nurse greeting patient with crutches at doorAttending LPN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in New River AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Things 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 online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near New River Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near New River Arizona.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local New River 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local New River AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning 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 vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an approved school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the New River AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain 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.

Find Out How to Become an LPN or LVN in New River

Choose the Right New River Licensed Vocational Nurse School

Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare 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 final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in New River Arizona.



 

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