Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Choose the Right One Near Oro Valley Arizona
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Oro Valley AZ that will deliver the appropriate instruction. California or Texas residents will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both practice in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill the same job duties. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant 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 extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's look at what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Degree and Certificate Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Oro Valley AZ. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study 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
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Oro Valley AZ. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions 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 online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably 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 important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see 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. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Oro Valley AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs and LVNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific 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 excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with 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 all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Oro Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Oro Valley AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Oro Valley LPN or LVN Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Oro Valley Arizona.