How to Choose the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Homer Alaska
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Homer AK that will furnish the right education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for 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 fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they complete in the Homer AK healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Each 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 functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Homer AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Homer AK. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying 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 needs to 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 Online Schools
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Homer AK. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other 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. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things 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 web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Homer AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Homer 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Homer 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 looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Homer AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Homer AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Homer Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Homer AK.