How to Select an LPN School in Mohave Valley Arizona
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Mohave Valley AZ that will deliver the right education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of functions that they accomplish in the Mohave Valley AZ health facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Mohave Valley AZ health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered in Arizona that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Mohave Valley AZ, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Mohave Valley AZ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Arizona community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Arizona colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to progress 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 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some 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 Mohave Valley AZ area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Arizona to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain Mohave Valley AZ area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Mohave Valley AZ along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Mohave Valley AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Arizona schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with 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 essential that the Mohave Valley AZ school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Mohave Valley AZ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Mohave Valley AZ area to assist 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 in Arizona require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Mohave Valley AZ area.
Select the Right LPN College Mohave Valley 86440
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Mohave Valley AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready several ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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