Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Pick the Right One Near El Mirage Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near El Mirage AZ that will provide the right training. If you reside in California or Texas, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both practice in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill identical job functions. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. 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 training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they complete in the El Mirage AZ healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other El Mirage AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere 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 period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter 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 course of study adequately 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
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in El Mirage AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward 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, 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 no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near El Mirage AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality 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 are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the El Mirage AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby El Mirage AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help 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 probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in El Mirage Arizona.