How to Select the Best LPN or LVN Course Near New River Arizona
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near New River AZ that will provide the necessary training. 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 perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different functions that they accomplish in the New River AZ healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other New River AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near New River AZ. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Enrolling in LPN and LVN Online Courses
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in New River AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near New River Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near New River Arizona.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each 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 determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby New River 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 ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local New River 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 vary 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the New River AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships 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 Best New River Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in New River Arizona.