How to Select the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Kodiak Alaska
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Kodiak AK that will furnish the proper 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, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they complete in the Kodiak AK health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical 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 assistance is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Kodiak AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN CoursesThere are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Kodiak AK. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage 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. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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.
Online LPN and LVN Schools
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Kodiak AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that 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 guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Kodiak AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Kodiak AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Kodiak 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 good reputation within the Kodiak AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Kodiak AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Kodiak Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Kodiak AK.