How to Pick the Best LVN or LPN College Near Phoenix Arizona
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Phoenix 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, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences 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 concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article.
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Things 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 on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Phoenix Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Phoenix Arizona.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Phoenix AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Phoenix AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist 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 differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an approved school. Certain states require a specific 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 excellent 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 schools you are considering 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Phoenix AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain 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.
Choose the Right Phoenix Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical 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 final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Phoenix Arizona.