How to Select the Best LPN or LVN Training Program near Central Arizona
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Central AZ that will furnish the appropriate instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they perform in the Central AZ health care facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work duties being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Central AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Central AZ. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Central AZ. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Central 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 earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Central AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Central 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Central AZ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local Central AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Affordable Fast Track LPN or LVN Classes Near Me Central Arizona
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Affordable Fast Track LPN or LVN Classes Near Me and wanting to get more information on the topic Low Cost Accredited LPN or LVN Schools Near Me. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Central AZ.
More Arizona Nursing Locations
Central is at 32°52′13″N 109°47′35″W / 32.87028°N 109.79306°W / 32.87028; -109.79306, at an elevation of approximately 2900 feet above sea level. From this location just south of the Gila River within the Upper Gila Valley, Mount Graham of the Pinaleño (Pinaleno Mountains) range dominates the southern skyline.
Central was first homesteaded by the Cluff family in 1880. The Cluffs extended the Central Canal to their lands on the eastern side of Central. Later settlers extended the canal west and north. In 1883 construction began on a one-room white rock building to be used as a church meeting house and school house. By 1884 twenty families, including Cluff, Norton, Shurtz, Bigler, and Webster households resided in Central. In 1978 the streets were named after these early Mormon pioneers. In December 1883 the Central Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was organized and Joseph Cluff was ordained the first bishop. A new red brick church was built in 1885. It was the first regular meeting house built in this part of Arizona and was also the first home of the LDS Academy from December 1890 to May 1891. A plaque east of Hwy 70 on Central Road commemorates the original home of the St. Joseph Stake Academy that later moved to Thatcher and became Eastern Arizona College.
In 1894, LDS Church historian Andrew Jensen reported on the Central Ward: "Thirty-five families or 178 souls, constitute the Mormon population, and there are only two other families in the district. Central excels in point of large orchards, extensive alfalfa fields and good grain. The meeting house is the only public building in the settlement, in which there is also a small store and a post office. There are a number of fine and comfortable private residences, built mostly of brick and adobe."