How to Find the Right LPN School near Douglas Alaska
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Douglas AK. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they complete in the Douglas AK medical facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Douglas AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, 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 Douglas 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
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Douglas AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. 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 program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Douglas AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Douglas AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Douglas AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Douglas AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Douglas AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Douglas AK?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Douglas AK, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
The only traditional school left on Douglas is Gastineau Elementary, which serves all the Douglas Island elementary-aged students; the Douglas Public Library is part of the Juneau Public Library System. Douglas has a few restaurants and bars (The Island Pub, Louie's Douglas Inn, and The Douglas Café), a local live theater (Perseverance Theater), and a gas station. The town’s population has dropped over the years but recently is up to about 3,000 people, or close to ten percent of the City and Borough of Juneau’s population. Douglas gets its water and electricity from Juneau and has a mix of onsite and municipal (diverted to Juneau) wastewater treatment.
Douglas Island was originally a border of the Auke people’s and Taku people’s territory. It was not usually used for year-round settlement, but rather as a place to spend the summer, or at times a place for battles.
In 1880 gold was discovered in Juneau, Alaska, across the narrow Gastineau Channel, drawing in all kinds of people looking to strike it rich. In 1881 two towns sprouted up on Douglas Island: Treadwell and Douglas. Treadwell was the community for the miners, with its own entertainment, pool, and bar. Douglas, too, had businesses popping up and soon had its own school and post office. A railroad and boardwalk connected the two towns. At this time the Treadwell power plant was large enough to power the entire Treadwell area, Douglas, and Juneau. The power plant continued to serve the Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine until the mine was shut down in 1944 by the War Department as non-essential to the war effort.
Enroll in the Right LPN Program near Douglas AK
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Douglas AK.
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