How to Select the Best LPN or LVN Program near Bethel Alaska
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Bethel AK that will deliver the appropriate 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 carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although cost 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 even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they carry out in the Bethel AK health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work duties being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Bethel AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN ProgramsThere are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Bethel AK. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Bethel AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend 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 near Bethel AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Bethel AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Bethel AK 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 programs you are considering 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Bethel AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Bethel AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Bethel Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Bethel AK.