How to Enroll In the Best LPN or LVN Training Program near Bethel Alaska
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Bethel AK that will provide the necessary 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, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although price and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss 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.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they accomplish in the Bethel AK healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Bethel AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Bethel AK. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable 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 attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Attending LPN programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Bethel AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. 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 necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Bethel AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, 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 schools 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bethel AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Bethel AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Bethel Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Bethel AK.