Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Pick the Best One Near Drexel Heights Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Drexel Heights AZ that will deliver the proper instruction. If you reside in California or Texas, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LVN and an LPN. They both work in medical facilities supervised by Physicians and Registered Nurses and fulfill the same job duties. Although, as we will cover in this article, their routine job functions can vary based on the state where they are employed. Many nursing candidates start searching for schools that are close to their homes and of those lean towards the one that is least expensive. But there are additional credentials that a school should have and a decision should not be made based on location and cost alone. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both very important too. There are various other 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 look at the role 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 many different functions that they accomplish in the Drexel Heights AZ healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for overseeing 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 diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. 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 day-to-day work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Drexel Heights AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Drexel Heights AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Drexel Heights AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward 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, 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 Drexel Heights AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, 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 along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Drexel Heights AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs are different 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy 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 considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Drexel Heights 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Drexel Heights AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Drexel Heights LPN or LVN School
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you select an LPN college 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 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 desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Drexel Heights Arizona.