How to Choose an LPN School near Fort Richardson Alaska
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Fort Richardson AK. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively 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 a number of functions that they accomplish in the Fort Richardson AK health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment 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 daily job functions can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Fort Richardson AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous 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 Fort Richardson 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 obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Fort Richardson AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Fort Richardson AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial 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 final decision, use the following questions to see 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. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Fort Richardson AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also preps 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 reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Fort Richardson 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Fort Richardson AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Fort Richardson AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Fort Richardson AK?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Fort Richardson AK, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Fort Richardson (Alaska)
Fort Richardson is a United States Army installation in the U.S. state of Alaska, adjacent to the city of Anchorage. In 2010, it was merged with nearby Elmendorf Air Force Base to form Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Fort Richardson was named for the military pioneer explorer, Brig. Gen. Wilds P. Richardson, who served three tours of duty in the rugged Alaska territory between 1897 and 1917. Richardson, a native Texan and an 1884 West Point graduate, commanded troops along the Yukon River and supervised construction of Fort Egbert near Eagle, and Fort William H. Seward (Chilkoot Barracks) near Haines. As head of the War Department's Alaska Road Commission from 1905 to 1917, he was responsible for much of the surveying and building of early railroads, roads and bridges that helped the state’s settlement and growth. The Valdez-Fairbanks Trail, surveyed under his direction in 1904, was named the Richardson Highway in his honor.
During World War II, Fort Richardson was used briefly as a holding center for several family members of Alaskan Japanese Americans arrested after Pearl Harbor. Fifteen Japanese Americans and two German Americans were interned here before being transferred to other camps. Built during 1940-1941 on the site of what is now Elmendorf Air Force Base and established as the headquarters of the United States Army, Alaska (USARAK) in 1947, the post moved to its present location five miles (8 km) northeast of Anchorage in 1950. The post then had barracks for 500 soldiers, a rifle range, a few warehouses, a hospital, and bachelor officer quarters. From 1986-1994 the fort was headquarters of the 6th Infantry Division (Light). Fort Richardson is now headquarters for United States Army Alaska (USARAK), a subordinate unit of United States Army Pacific Command. For more than a decade, the major combat unit at Fort Richardson was Task Force 1-501, the only airborne infantry battalion in the Pacific Theater. Task Force 1-501 deployed to Afghanistan from October 2003 through August 2004.
Choose the Right LPN Program near Fort Richardson AK
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you choose an LPN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Fort Richardson AK.
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