How to Choose the Right LPN or LVN School near Lakes Alaska
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Lakes AK that will provide the necessary 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, 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. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they complete in the Lakes AK health care facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job duties being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Lakes 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 instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Lakes AK. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn 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, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Lakes AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning 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 can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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, maybe an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Lakes AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Lakes AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, 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 prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 speak with some nearby Lakes 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Lakes AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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 prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Lakes AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Lakes Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Lakes AK.