Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Find the Right One Near Mesa Arizona
One of the first things that you need to do after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN program near Mesa AZ that will help guarantee your entrance into the rewarding vocation of nursing. Texas or California students will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LVN and an LPN. They both practice in health care facilities supervised by Physicians and Registered Nurses and fulfill identical job duties. Although, as we will discuss in this report, their routine job activities can differ based on the state where they are employed. 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 costly. But there are additional credentials 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 extremely important too. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program 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 training and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they carry out in the Mesa AZ health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Mesa AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Mesa AZ. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 core curriculum 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
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Mesa AZ. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Once 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 choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Mesa AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Mesa 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit 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 also. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Mesa 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Mesa AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Mesa AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Mesa LPN or LVN School
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Mesa Arizona.