What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they complete in the Alaska medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Although they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Alaska healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN or LVN in Alaska. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit 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. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Alaska. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited 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.