Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Select the Best One Near Chandler Arizona
One of the first things that you need to do after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN program near Chandler AZ that will help you enter the gratifying profession of nursing. Texas or California students will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill identical job functions. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. But there are other qualifications that a school should have and a decision should not be made based on cost and location alone. 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 even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they accomplish in the Chandler AZ health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Chandler 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, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Chandler AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Chandler AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy 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 on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Chandler AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Chandler AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Chandler 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 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Chandler AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Chandler AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Chandler LPN or LVN Program
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Chandler Arizona.