Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Choose the Best One Near Green Valley Arizona
One of the first things that you need to do after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN program near Green Valley AZ that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying field of nursing. Texas or California residents will instead enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Apart from the names, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. They both work in medical facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform the same job duties. However, as we will discuss in this report, their daily job activities can vary based on the state where they are employed. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. But there are other credentials that a school should have and a selection should not be made based on location and cost alone. 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they accomplish in the Green Valley AZ healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Green Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Green Valley AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 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 syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Green Valley AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary 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. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy 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 on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt 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 essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Green Valley AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) along with 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 provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services 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. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Green Valley AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Green Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local Green Valley AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Green Valley LPN or LVN School
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Green Valley Arizona.