Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Programs
How to Pick the Right 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 you enter the rewarding field of nursing. California or Texas students will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However, as we will cover in this article, their daily job functions can vary depending on the state where they are employed. Many nursing candidates begin by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their homes and of those lean towards the one that has the lowest tuition. While tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Such as do the schools offer job placement assistance and do they have high placement rates, which are both extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Apache Junction AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and attain 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 specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional 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. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Apache Junction AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Apache Junction AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Apache Junction AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN or LVN schools 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Apache Junction AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Apache Junction AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Apache Junction LPN or LVN School
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Apache Junction Arizona.