Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Select the Right One Near El Mirage 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 college near El Mirage AZ that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying vocation of nursing. Texas or California students will instead enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Other than the names, 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 responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. Most new students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their homes and of those lean towards the one that has the lowest tuition. While tuition and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Such as are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both very important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's have a look at what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Degree and Certificate Programs
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near El Mirage AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in El Mirage AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
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 web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of 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 so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near El Mirage AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain 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 comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services 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. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local El Mirage 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local El Mirage AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right El Mirage LPN or LVN School
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in El Mirage Arizona.