How to Pick the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training Program near Meadow Lakes Alaska
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Meadow Lakes AK that will furnish the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are various other 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 look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they carry out in the Meadow Lakes AK health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Meadow Lakes AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Meadow Lakes AK. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 Schools Online
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Meadow Lakes AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many 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 may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow 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 checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Meadow Lakes AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Meadow Lakes AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding 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 companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, 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 nearby Meadow 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Meadow Lakes AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Meadow Lakes AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Meadow Lakes Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Meadow Lakes AK.