Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Find the Best One Near Avondale Arizona
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Avondale AZ that will furnish the right education. California or Texas residents will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Other than the names, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. They both work in medical facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform the same job duties. Although, as we will cover in this report, their daily job functions can vary depending on the state where they are employed. Most nursing candidates begin by searching for schools that are close to their homes and of those target the one that has the lowest tuition. While cost and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection 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 even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But first, 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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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they perform in the Avondale AZ healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention 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 routine job functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Avondale AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Avondale AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Avondale AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number 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 time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, and 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 a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Avondale AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Avondale AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs vary 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 accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Avondale AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN or LVN 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Avondale AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Avondale AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Avondale LPN or LVN School
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Avondale Arizona.