How to Find the Right LPN or LVN College near Kenai Alaska
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Kenai AK that will deliver the appropriate training. 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 carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are significant 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 extremely 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 discuss later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they carry out in the Kenai AK health care facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Kenai AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are principally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Kenai AK. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing 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 should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately 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 becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Kenai AK. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic 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 on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Kenai AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Kenai AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary 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. Many states require a certain 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 exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Kenai 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Kenai AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Kenai AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Kenai Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Kenai AK.