How to Select an LPN College in Tempe Arizona
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Tempe AZ that will deliver the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Tempe AZ medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring 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 assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work functions being mandated by each state, the Tempe AZ health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials available in Arizona that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Tempe AZ, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Tempe AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Tempe AZ area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Arizona to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to 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 Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain Tempe AZ area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school 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 can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Tempe AZ along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final 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 along with the Tempe AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Arizona schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to 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 important that the Tempe AZ school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Arizona school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Tempe 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 colleges 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Tempe AZ area to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Arizona require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Tempe AZ area.
Select the Right LPN Degree Tempe 85280
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse training program is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Tempe AZ.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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