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How to Choose the Right LPN or LVN Classes Near San Tan Valley Arizona

San Tan Valley Arizona LPN looking over patient file with doctorNow that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near San Tan Valley AZ that will provide the proper instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care 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 following section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are significant points to consider, 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 extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.

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LPN and LVN Job Description

San Tan Valley Arizona licensed practical nurse checking on elderly woman in assisted living facility

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 Tan Valley AZ hospitals, physician offices, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and even correctional facilities.

LPN Courses

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.

Taking LPN and LVN Online Classes

San Tan Valley Arizona licensed practical nurse assisting patient with crutches at doorEnrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in San Tan Valley AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps 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

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 utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near San Tan Valley Az as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near San Tan Valley Arizona.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local San Tan Valley 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 acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local San Tan Valley 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 prerequisites for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an approved school. Some 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 delivers an excellent education, but also prepares 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the San Tan Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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.

Learn How to Become an LVN or LPN in San Tan Valley

Pick the Right San Tan Valley Licensed Practical Nurse School

Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in San Tan Valley Arizona.



 

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