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How to Choose the Best LVN or LPN School Near San Luis Arizona

San Luis Arizona licensed practical nurse looking over patient file with physicianNow that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near San Luis AZ that will deliver the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out 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 look at in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While price and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program 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

San Luis Arizona licensed practical nurse visiting with female senior in nursing home

The most basic definition for what LPNs do is that they provide routine care for the sick or injured. They work in conjunction with RNs to adhere to a care plan for each patient. RNs typically have a wider scope of practice than LPNs, such as interacting with doctors and administering medication through IVs.  While an LPN’s scope of practice may be smaller than that of a registered nurse, there are still plenty of important nursing duties on their plates. LPN duties do vary somewhat by state and employer, but in general terms they provide hands-on patient care regardless of the location or employer. LPNs are responsible for a range of patient care and administrative tasks, which can include:

  • Monitoring basic patient health such as vital signs and overall condition
  • Changing dressings or inserting catheters
  • Taking patient histories and maintaining documentation
  • Assisting with tests or procedures
  • Providing personal care, such as helping with bathing and toileting
  • Consulting with RNs on care plans

LPNs provide care in a variety of healthcare settings. More and more patients are seeking care in or near their homes, which has resulted in many LPN jobs moving away from the hospital environment and into more specialized settings. A few of the most common places LPNs work include San Luis AZ hospitals, physician offices, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and even correctional facilities.

LPN and LVN Training

A licensed practical nurse is required to complete an approved educational program that normally takes 1 year in order to obtain a diploma or certificate. Programs are available in community colleges and trade schools. Every program provides supervised clinical experience. After receiving a diploma or certificate, an LPN takes the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in order to get licensed to work. The exam is five hours long. It’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited, which ensures the high quality standard of the program However, the program must be officially recognized by the State Board of Nursing or you cannot register to take the NCLEX-PN exam and will be unable to get licensed. Though all nationally accredited schools will also be approved by their state, it’s possible for a school to be approved but not accredited. LPNs can also take advanced programs available through professional associations in specialized areas. According to the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, LPNs can be trained in medication treatment, specialized procedures, or critical care interventions. By the way, working as an LPN can also pave the way to becoming a registered nurse (RN). Many schools offer what’s called a ‘bridge’ program. These programs take into account your LPN schooling and work experience and make it easier to transition to become an RN.

Enrolling in LVN and LPN Courses Online

San Luis Arizona licensed practical nurse assisting patient with crutches at doorAttending LPN programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in San Luis AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient 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, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near San Luis Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near San Luis Arizona.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. 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 nearby San Luis 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 ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby San Luis 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 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
  • 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the San Luis AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain 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.

Find Out How to Become an LVN or LPN in San Luis

Pick the Best San Luis Licensed Practical Nurse School

Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in San Luis Arizona.



 

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