Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training
How to Find the Right One Near Mesa Arizona
A first step that you need to take after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN college near Mesa AZ that will help you enter the gratifying profession of nursing. California or Texas students will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Apart from the titles, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. Both practice in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill identical job functions. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. But there are other credentials that a school must have and a decision 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they carry out in the Mesa AZ healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical attention is their dominion. Every 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:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Mesa AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Mesa AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain 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 supplying 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Mesa AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free 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 other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
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 utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Mesa AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to 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 agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Mesa AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. 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 nearby Mesa 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Mesa AZ medical 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 environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Mesa AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Mesa LPN or LVN School
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Mesa Arizona.