How to Enroll In the Best LVN or LPN Program Near Oro Valley Arizona
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Oro Valley AZ that will deliver the appropriate instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While price and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the function 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 (LPNs) perform a number of basic nursing tasks. They work under doctors and registered nurses (RNs) in Oro Valley AZ medical offices, hospitals, and health care facilities. They also might provide in-home care. LPNs carry out nursing tasks that are more complex than those that completed by nurse's aides but less complex than the duties of an RN. LPNs monitor the health of patients and look for signs that their health is deteriorating or improving. They check vital signs and watch for changes in monitor readings. Licensed Practical Nurses perform basic nursing functions like changing bandages and wound dressings. They comfort patients and make sure basic needs such as food and fluid intake are in order. Licensed practical nurses may also administer medications in some settings depending on institutional and state standards. LPNs work in a variety of health care environments as part of a team that includes doctors, registered nurses, and others. They serve in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, health clinics, and private physician practices. Some also provide health care services at peoples’ homes. Nurses have to be able to stand on their feet for most of the day. They may need to help lift or move patients as well.
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 LVN and LPN Online Classes
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Oro Valley AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic 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 on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Oro Valley Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Oro Valley Arizona.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Oro Valley 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 obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Oro Valley 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 criteria for LPNs are different 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 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 exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- 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 complete 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 Oro Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain 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 Best Oro Valley Licensed Vocational Nurse Program
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Oro Valley Arizona.