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How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN Classes Near Prescott Arizona

Prescott Arizona LPN looking over patient chart with doctorOnce you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Prescott AZ that will provide the proper instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare 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 talk about in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are important factors, 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.

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LPN and LVN Job Description

Prescott Arizona licensed practical nurse visiting with female senior in nursing home

Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they carry out in the Prescott AZ health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight 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. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities might include:

    • Taking vital signs
    • Giving medications
    • Starting IV drips
    • Monitoring patients
    • Collecting blood or urine samples
    • Keeping patient records
    • Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures

Along with their occupational responsibilities being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Prescott AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.

LPN and LVN Training

There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN or LVN near Prescott AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying 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 pursue, it needs to be state approved and ideally accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

Enrolling in LVN and LPN Classes Online

Prescott Arizona LPN greeting patient with crutches at entranceAttending LPN programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Prescott AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

What 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 on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Prescott Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Prescott Arizona.
  • Reputation. Look at 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, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Prescott AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Prescott 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 prerequisites 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. Certain 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 attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Prescott AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist 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.

Learn How to Become an LPN or LVN in Prescott

Choose the Best Prescott Licensed Practical Nurse School

Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Prescott Arizona.



 

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