Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Colleges
How to Select the Best One Near Gilbert Arizona
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Gilbert AZ that will provide the proper training. California or Texas residents will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. Many new students begin by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their homes and of those lean towards the one that has the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are significant factors, 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 additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they carry out in the Gilbert AZ health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical care is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work functions being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Gilbert AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Gilbert AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum 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 schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Gilbert AZ. Certain 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 may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
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 utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Gilbert AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Gilbert AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs and LVNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with 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 programs you are looking at 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Gilbert AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Gilbert AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Gilbert LPN or LVN School
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Gilbert Arizona.