Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Programs
How to Pick the Best One Near Gilbert Arizona
One of the first things that you need to do after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN program near Gilbert AZ that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying field of nursing. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Apart from the titles, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. Both practice in health care facilities supervised by Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform identical job duties. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. While price 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 additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's look at what is involved in the education and licensing process.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Gilbert AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Gilbert AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific 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 approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier 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 on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Gilbert AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Gilbert AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs and LVNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Gilbert 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 considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Gilbert AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Gilbert AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Gilbert LPN or LVN School
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Gilbert Arizona.