Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Pick the Right One Near Paradise Valley Arizona
A first step that you need to take after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN program near Paradise Valley AZ that will help you enter the rewarding profession of nursing. Texas or California residents will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Other than the names, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. They both practice in health care facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform identical job duties. Although, as we will cover in this report, their routine job functions can vary based on the state where they are practicing. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. But there are additional credentials that a school should have and a selection should not be made based on location and cost alone. 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 additional 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 first, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they accomplish in the Paradise Valley AZ medical facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Paradise Valley AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are principally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Paradise Valley AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Paradise Valley AZ. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
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 internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Paradise 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 in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Paradise Valley AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs are different 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. Many 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 outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. 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 contact some local Paradise 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 considering 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Paradise Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Paradise Valley AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Paradise Valley LPN or LVN Program
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Paradise Valley Arizona.