How to Enroll In the Right LVN or LPN Classes Near New River Arizona
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near New River AZ that will furnish 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, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover 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.
It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
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.
LVN and LPN TrainingSelecting the right LPN program is an important first step. Programs lead to a certificate, diploma, or an associate degree. Coursework for certificate, diploma, and degree programs can be completed online or in person. Hybrid programs allow aspiring LPNs to complete required courses in a virtual setting, while clinical hours must be fulfilled in person at an approved local site. Regardless of academic setting or type of program, LPNs in training cover much of the same core coursework. Full-time students usually take 12-15 credits per semester, learning necessary skills and knowledge by studying theories, completing lab assignments, and spending time in clinical settings. After completing LPN education requirements and earning their credential, students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN) before they can be licensed and hired to practice as an LPN.
Enrolling in LPN and LVN Online Courses
Attending LPN schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in New River AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly 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 necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to 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 along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near New River Arizona.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact 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 effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby New River 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 prerequisites for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an approved school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet 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 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 favorable reputation within the New River AZ healthcare 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.
Choose the Right New River Licensed Practical Nurse School
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in New River Arizona.