How to Select the Right LPN or LVN Training Program near Lakes Alaska
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Lakes AK that will deliver the appropriate training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are relevant points to consider, 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 too. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they accomplish in the Lakes AK health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing 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. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Lakes AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Lakes AK. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide 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 core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Schools
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more favored 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 virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that 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 pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Lakes AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Lakes AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, 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 standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Lakes 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Lakes AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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 mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Lakes AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Lakes Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each 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 select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Lakes AK.