How to Enroll In the Right LPN or LVN College Near Nogales Arizona
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Nogales AZ that will deliver 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, aside from 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 address in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are relevant factors, 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 very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address 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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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they accomplish in the Nogales AZ medical 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 managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine job functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work duties being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Nogales AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN ProgramsThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN or LVN near Nogales AZ. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing 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 seek, it needs to be state approved and ideally accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Taking LVN and LPN Courses Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Nogales AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning 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 affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Once 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 guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Nogales Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Nogales Arizona.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Nogales 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. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Nogales 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 criteria for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares 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 programs you are looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Nogales AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain 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.
Pick the Best Nogales Licensed Practical Nurse School
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Nogales Arizona.