Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Pick the Right One Near Maricopa Arizona
A first step that you need to take after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN school near Maricopa AZ that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying vocation of nursing. California or Texas residents will alternatively 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. Both work in medical facilities supervised by Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and perform identical job duties. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Such as are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both very important too. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different functions that they carry out in the Maricopa AZ medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. 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 functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work functions being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Maricopa AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Maricopa AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, 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 commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus 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 programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Maricopa AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Maricopa AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Maricopa AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services 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, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Maricopa 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 looking at 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Maricopa AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Maricopa AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Maricopa LPN or LVN Program
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each 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 pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Maricopa Arizona.