Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Colleges
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Flagstaff Arizona
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Flagstaff AZ that will furnish the appropriate instruction. California or Texas students will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LVN and an LPN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However, as we will cover in this article, their routine job activities can differ depending on the state where they are practicing. Many new students begin by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their homes and of those target the one that has the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. 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 address later in this article. But first, let's take a 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 many different tasks that they perform in the Flagstaff AZ healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Flagstaff AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Flagstaff AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative 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 training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Flagstaff AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once 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 pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Flagstaff AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Flagstaff AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs and LVNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies 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 too. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Flagstaff 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 dissatisfied 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 Flagstaff AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Flagstaff AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Flagstaff LPN or LVN Program
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Flagstaff Arizona.