How to Choose the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near College Alaska
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near College AK that will provide the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they complete in the College AK health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example 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 functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily work functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other College AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN CoursesThere are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near College AK. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Schools
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in College AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it more convenient 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 start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near College AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near College AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 contact some local College AK 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 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 unhappy 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 College AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local College AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right College Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in College AK.