Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Maricopa Arizona
One of the first things that you need to do after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN program near Maricopa AZ that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying vocation of nursing. California or Texas students will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both work in medical facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and fulfill identical job functions. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. Many nursing candidates 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 credentials that a school should have and a selection 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 extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But first, let's look at what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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LVN and LPN Degree and Certificate Programs
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Maricopa AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately 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
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Maricopa AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use 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 essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Maricopa AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs and LVNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified 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 provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Maricopa 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 looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 superb reputation within the Maricopa AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Maricopa AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Maricopa LPN or LVN School
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Maricopa Arizona.