Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Pick the Best One Near Gilbert Arizona
A first step that you need to take after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN program near Gilbert AZ that will help you enter the rewarding vocation of nursing. Texas or California residents will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LVN and an LPN. They both work in medical facilities supervised by Physicians and Registered Nurses and fulfill identical job functions. However, as we will discuss in this report, their daily job functions can differ based on the state where they are practicing. Most new students begin by looking for schools that are close to their homes and of those lean towards the one that is least expensive. But there are additional credentials that a school should have and a selection should not be made based on location and cost alone. 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 even more 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 have a look at what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LVN and LPN Training Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Gilbert AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide 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 Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Gilbert AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions 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 are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Gilbert AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary 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 see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Gilbert AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) in addition to 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local 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 programs 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 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 good reputation within the Gilbert AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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 requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Gilbert AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Gilbert LPN or LVN Program
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Gilbert Arizona.