How to Choose the Best LVN or LPN Training Program Near San Luis Arizona
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near San Luis AZ that will furnish the appropriate instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the role 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 (LPNs) are an important part of the healthcare team, supporting doctors and nurses in caring for patients of all ages. LPNs work closely with registered nurses (RNs) and physicians to provide patients with basic nursing care. An LPN’s duties can vary slightly depending on the healthcare setting and the state in which they work. For example, some states do not permit LPNs to administer medication or start IV drips. In other states, experienced LPNs are able to supervise and manage less-experienced nurses or nursing aides. Some of the typical duties of an LPN might include:
- Monitoring patients
- Taking patient vital signs and histories
- Performing routine assessments, such as checking blood pressure
- Changing bandages
- Inserting IVs or catheters
- Listening to patients’ concerns and reporting back to RNs and doctors
- Ensuring patients are comfortable
- Helping patients bathe or dress
LPNs can also work in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including San Luis AZ hospitals, doctor's offices and urgent care clinics. Due to an aging population, there is a growing need for LPNs in long-term care, such as rehabilitation centers, residential treatment centers and hospice. Most LPNs work in nursing and residential care facilities.
LPN and LVN ProgramsSelecting the right LPN program is an important first step. Programs lead to a certificate, diploma, or an associate degree. Coursework for certificate, diploma, and degree programs can be completed online or in person. Hybrid programs allow aspiring LPNs to complete required courses in a virtual setting, while clinical hours must be fulfilled in person at an approved local site. Regardless of academic setting or type of program, LPNs in training cover much of the same core coursework. Full-time students usually take 12-15 credits per semester, learning necessary skills and knowledge by studying theories, completing lab assignments, and spending time in clinical settings. After completing LPN education requirements and earning their credential, students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN) before they can be licensed and hired to practice as an LPN.
Taking LVN and LPN Courses Online
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive 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 call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training 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 use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near San Luis 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 manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near San Luis Arizona.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby San Luis 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 most ideal way to get 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 mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local San Luis AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an approved school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the San Luis AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships 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.
Choose the Right San Luis Licensed Practical Nurse School
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in San Luis Arizona.