How to Choose an LPN School near Unalakleet Alaska
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Unalakleet AK. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader 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 extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 properly 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 tasks that they perform in the Unalakleet AK healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Every state not only controls 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:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job functions being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Unalakleet 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, including 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 Unalakleet 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 schools online is growing into a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Unalakleet AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN Schools
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 utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Unalakleet AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Unalakleet AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Unalakleet 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Unalakleet AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Unalakleet AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Unalakleet AK?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Unalakleet AK, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Unalakleet (/ˈjuːnələkliːt/ YOO-nə-lə-kleet; Inupiaq: Uŋalaqłiq IPA: [uŋɐlɑχɬeq]) is a city in Nome Census Area, Alaska, United States, in the western part of the state. At the 2010 census the population was 688, down from 747 in 2000. Unalakleet is known in the region and around Alaska for its salmon and king crab harvests; the residents rely heavily on caribou, ptarmigan, oogruk (bearded seal), and various salmon species. Unalakleet is also known for its aesthetic value, as it resides right next to the Bering Sea, immediately next to a large, clean river (Unalakleet River) and has trees, tundra, and hills behind it.
Unalakleet, an adaptation of the Iñupiaq word "Una-la-thliq", which means "from the southern side". Some Unalakleet residents were mistakenly told it meant "where the east wind blows".
Unalakleet is located at the Norton Sound end of the Unalakleet-Kaltag Portage, an important winter travel route between Norton Sound and the Yukon River. Unalakleet has long been a major trade center between the Athabascans who lived in the interior of Alaska and the Inupiat who lived on the coast. The Russian-American Company built a trading post here at Unalakleet in the 1830s. Sami reindeer herders from Lapland were brought to Unalakleet to teach sound herding practices in 1898. In 1901, the United States Army Signal Corps built a 605-mile (974 km) telegraph line from St. Michael that passed through Unalakleet.
Enroll in the Right LPN School near Unalakleet AK
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Unalakleet AK.
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