How to Pick the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near Eagle River Alaska
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Eagle River AK that will deliver the necessary instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. While price and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they accomplish in the Eagle River AK health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work duties being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Eagle River AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Eagle River AK. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 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.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Attending LPN schools online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Eagle River AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow 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 utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Eagle River AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Eagle River AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some states require a specific 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 provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Eagle River AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools 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 superb reputation within the Eagle River AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Eagle River AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Eagle River Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Eagle River AK.