Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Select the Right One Near El Mirage Arizona
One of the first things that you need to do after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN college near El Mirage AZ that will help guarantee your entrance into the rewarding profession of nursing. California or Texas students will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Apart from the names, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. They both work in health care facilities supervised by Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill identical job duties. However, as we will discuss in this article, their daily job activities can differ depending on the state where they are practicing. Most new students start looking for schools that are close to their homes and of those target the one that has the lowest tuition. While price and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Such as 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the El Mirage AZ healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other El Mirage AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training ProgramsThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near El Mirage AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering 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 pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in El Mirage AZ. Certain schools will require attendance 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 can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training 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, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near El Mirage AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near El Mirage 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. Certain states require a specified 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 an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby El Mirage 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 looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the El Mirage AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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 as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby El Mirage AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best El Mirage LPN or LVN Program
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in El Mirage Arizona.