How to Select the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Chena Ridge Alaska
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Chena Ridge AK that will deliver the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking 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 supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. While price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Chena Ridge AK health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job duties being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Chena Ridge AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Chena Ridge AK. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Chena Ridge AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific 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 convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Chena Ridge AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. 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 schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Chena Ridge AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Chena Ridge 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 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 Chena Ridge AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local Chena Ridge AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Chena Ridge Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Chena Ridge AK.