How to Enroll In the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Juneau Alaska
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Juneau AK that will deliver the necessary education. 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 duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's have a look at the role 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 functions that they perform in the Juneau AK medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Juneau AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN ProgramsThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Juneau AK. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Schools
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Juneau AK. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Juneau 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 workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Juneau AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Juneau 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Juneau AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Juneau AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Juneau Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Juneau AK.