Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Programs
How to Find the Right One Near Oro Valley Arizona
A first step that you need to take after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN school near Oro Valley AZ that will help you enter the rewarding profession of nursing. If you live in California or Texas, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LVN and an LPN. They both work in health care facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and fulfill the same job duties. Although, as we will discuss in this report, their routine job functions can vary depending on the state where they are employed. Many new students begin by searching for schools that are close to their homes and of those target the one that is least expensive. Even though price and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. 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 various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address 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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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they carry out in the Oro Valley AZ medical facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Oro Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Oro Valley AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly 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
Enrolling in LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Oro Valley AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder 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. Concerning 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 minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that 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 guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, 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 reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Oro Valley AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Oro Valley 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 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 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 best way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Oro Valley AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Oro Valley LPN or LVN School
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Oro Valley Arizona.