Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Programs
How to Select the Best One Near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Lake Havasu City AZ that will deliver the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Other than the titles, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While price and location are relevant points to consider, 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 extremely important as well. There are even more 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 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 training to become an LPN near Lake Havasu City AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Lake Havasu City AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active 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 begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Lake Havasu City AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 verify that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Lake Havasu City AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Lake Havasu City 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Lake Havasu City AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Lake Havasu City AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Lake Havasu City LPN or LVN School
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Lake Havasu City Arizona.