How to Find the Right LPN School in Prescott Arizona
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Prescott AZ that will provide the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria 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 additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they carry out in the Prescott AZ healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Prescott AZ health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials available in Arizona that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Prescott AZ, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Prescott AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Prescott AZ area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Arizona to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain Prescott AZ area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require 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 method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Prescott AZ along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Prescott AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited Arizona schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Prescott AZ school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Prescott AZ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Prescott AZ area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Arizona require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Prescott AZ area.
Choose the Right LPN Course Prescott 86301
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Prescott AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Become an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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