How to Pick an LPN College in Sun City Arizona
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Sun City AZ that will furnish the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are even more 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 role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they complete in the Sun City AZ medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While 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 facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Sun City AZ healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous 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, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable 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 warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Sun City AZ, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Sun City AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Sun City AZ area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Arizona to make certain that the training 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 programs online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many Sun City AZ area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to 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 can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Sun City AZ and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Sun City AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited Arizona schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Sun City AZ school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Sun City 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 schools 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Sun City AZ area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Arizona require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Sun City AZ area.
Enroll in the Right LPN School Sun City 85351
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent 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 final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Sun City AZ.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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