Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Programs
How to Pick the Right One Near Drexel Heights Arizona
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Drexel Heights AZ that will provide the proper instruction. If you live in California or Texas, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Apart from the titles, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. Most new students 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 qualifications that a school should have and a selection should not be made based on location and cost 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 talk about later in this article. But first, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they carry out in the Drexel Heights AZ health facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Drexel Heights AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are principally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Drexel Heights AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Drexel Heights AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once 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 checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Drexel Heights AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. 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 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies 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. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local 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 finish 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Drexel Heights AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Drexel Heights LPN or LVN Program
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select 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 produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Drexel Heights Arizona.