How to Select an LPN Program in Lake Havasu City Arizona
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Lake Havasu City AZ that will furnish the right education. If you live 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 perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different duties that they accomplish in the Lake Havasu City AZ health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Although they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job functions being mandated by each state, the Lake Havasu City AZ medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs 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 Courses
There are essentially two academic accreditations available in Arizona that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Lake Havasu City AZ, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Lake Havasu City AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Arizona community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lake Havasu City AZ area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Arizona to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain Lake Havasu City AZ area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Lake Havasu City AZ and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 Lake Havasu City AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Arizona schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Lake Havasu City AZ school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Lake Havasu City 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Lake Havasu City AZ area to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Arizona require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Lake Havasu City AZ area.
Select the Right LPN College Lake Havasu City 86403
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Lake Havasu City AZ.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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