Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Choose the Best One Near Lake Havasu City Arizona
A first step that you need to take after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN program near Lake Havasu City AZ that will help guarantee your entrance into the rewarding field of nursing. California or Texas residents will instead 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 practice in medical facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and fulfill the same job functions. Although, as we will cover in this report, their routine job functions can vary depending on the state where they are practicing. Most new students start searching for schools that are close to their homes and of those lean towards the one that is least expensive. But there are additional qualifications that a school must have and a decision should not be made based on cost and location alone. Such as are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both very 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 discuss later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Lake Havasu City AZ health care facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training ProgramsThere are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Lake Havasu City AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 core curriculum properly 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
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Lake Havasu City AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things 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 utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, 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 important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Lake Havasu City AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements 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 looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out 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 opinions 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate 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 assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Lake Havasu City AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Lake Havasu City LPN or LVN School
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Lake Havasu City Arizona.