How to Find the Best LPN or LVN Training Near Peoria Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Peoria AZ that will furnish the necessary training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they perform in the Peoria AZ health care facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work functions being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Peoria AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Peoria AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and ideally accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Attending LVN and LPN Online Courses
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Peoria AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active 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 undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Peoria Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Peoria Arizona.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Peoria 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 setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local Peoria 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 requirements 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. Some states require a certain 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 outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with 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 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 Peoria AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain 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 Peoria Licensed Practical Nurse School
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Peoria Arizona.