Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Programs
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Oro Valley Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Oro Valley AZ that will provide the right education. If you live in California or Texas, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and LVN. Both practice in health care facilities supervised by Physicians and Registered Nurses and fulfill identical job duties. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. Many nursing candidates begin by searching for schools that are close to their homes and of those lean towards the one that is least expensive. Even though cost and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address 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 does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they carry out in the Oro Valley 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 accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Oro Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Oro Valley AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Oro Valley AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions 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 internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Oro Valley AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the expense 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 sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Oro Valley AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Oro Valley 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Oro Valley AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Oro Valley AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Oro Valley LPN or LVN School
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using 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 ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Oro Valley Arizona.