Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Select the Right One Near Drexel Heights Arizona
One of the first things that you need to do after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN program near Drexel Heights AZ that will help guarantee your entrance into the rewarding vocation of nursing. Texas or California residents will instead enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LVN and an LPN. Both work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill identical job functions. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. But there are additional qualifications that a school must 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 various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's look at what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Drexel Heights AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, 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 typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately 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 growing into a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Drexel Heights AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school 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 online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin 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 lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific 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 an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, 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 Drexel Heights 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 schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Drexel Heights AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain 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 also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Drexel Heights AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Drexel Heights LPN or LVN Program
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Drexel Heights Arizona.