How to Choose an LPN Program near Chugiak Alaska
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Chugiak AK. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain 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, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they perform in the Chugiak AK healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical care is their dominion. Every 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 job functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Chugiak AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) was $45,030 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,970, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $61,030. Most licensed practical nurses near Chugiak AK work full time, although about 1 in 5 worked part time in 2016. Many work nights, weekends, and holidays, because medical care takes place at all hours. They may be required to work shifts of longer than 8 hours. Employment of LPNs is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026. Job prospects should be favorable for LPNs who are willing to work in rural and medically under served areas.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Chugiak AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Chugiak AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Chugiak 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) in addition to 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 imperative 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 practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Chugiak 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Chugiak AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Chugiak AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Chugiak AK?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Chugiak AK, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
The name "Chugiak" comes from a Dena'ina word meaning "place of many places". Chugiak was first heavily settled in the 1950s, primarily by the homesteading by former military personnel who had served in Alaska during World War II. It is currently one of the main sites of suburban expansion near Anchorage.
There are about 8,300 residents, most of whom work in Anchorage or the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, and are spread out mainly along the Glenn Highway. The urban cluster of Anchorage Northeast (including Chugiak and surroundings) has an estimated population of 31,000 (2010), covering an area of 39 km².
Chugiak is also the home of the "Birchwood Shooting & Recreational Park", (adjacent to the Birchwood Airport), the largest rifle, pistol, and shotgun range facility in the State of Alaska. The annual Alaska State Trap and Skeet competitions are held there.
Pick the Right LPN Program near Chugiak AK
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you choose an LPN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Chugiak AK.
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