Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Colleges
How to Select the Best One Near Green Valley Arizona
A first step that you need to take after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN college near Green Valley AZ that will help you enter the gratifying field of nursing. California or Texas residents will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Other than the titles, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision 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 even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your LPN or LVN Career Below
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they complete in the Green Valley AZ healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Green Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training ProgramsThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Green Valley AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Green Valley AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Green Valley AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. 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 selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Green Valley AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs and LVNs are different 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. Many 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 provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Green Valley 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Green Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Green Valley AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Green Valley LPN or LVN Program
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Green Valley Arizona.