Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Pick the Best One Near Apache Junction Arizona
A first step that you need to take after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN program near Apache Junction AZ that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying profession of nursing. If you live in California or Texas, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Apart from the names, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. Both work in health care facilities supervised by Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill identical job functions. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. While price and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Such as are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they perform in the Apache Junction AZ health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example 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 functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Apache Junction AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Apache Junction AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Apache Junction AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, 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 realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Apache Junction AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to 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 or degree program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Apache Junction AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs and LVNs 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 accredited school. Many states require a specific 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 provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Apache Junction AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN or LVN schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Apache Junction AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Apache Junction AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Apache Junction LPN or LVN Program
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare 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 ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Apache Junction Arizona.