How to Select the Right LVN or LPN School Near Prescott Valley Arizona
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Prescott Valley AZ that will provide the right education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But first, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they perform in the Prescott Valley AZ health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical care is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Prescott Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Prescott Valley AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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.
Enrolling in LPN and LVN Classes Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Prescott Valley AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What 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 internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Prescott Valley Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Prescott Valley Arizona.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Prescott Valley 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 ideal 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 requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Prescott Valley 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 differ 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ medical 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 Prescott Valley Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list 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 drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Prescott Valley Arizona.