Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Select the Right One Near Casa Grande Arizona
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Casa Grande AZ that will deliver the proper education. California or Texas residents will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. Most nursing candidates start searching for schools that are close to their homes and of those lean towards the one that has the lowest tuition. But there are additional credentials that a school should have and a selection should not be made based on cost and location alone. Such as are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they accomplish in the Casa Grande AZ health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Casa Grande AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Casa Grande AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively 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
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Casa Grande AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things 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 on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Casa Grande AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Casa Grande AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs and LVNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Casa Grande 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Casa Grande AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Casa Grande AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Casa Grande LPN or LVN School
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you choose an LPN school 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 create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Casa Grande Arizona.