Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Programs
How to Select the Best One Near Nogales Arizona
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Nogales AZ that will deliver the proper education. Texas or California students will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and LVN. Both practice in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill the same job functions. However, as we will discuss in this article, their daily job activities can vary 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 nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are significant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they carry out in the Nogales AZ health facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical 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 seeking medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Nogales AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training ProgramsThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Nogales AZ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN 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 Nogales AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things 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 online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Nogales AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Nogales AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs and LVNs differ 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Nogales 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Nogales AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Nogales AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Nogales LPN or LVN Program
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Nogales Arizona.