How to Find the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing School near Nikiski Alaska
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Nikiski AK that will furnish the right training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While price and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they carry out in the Nikiski AK healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job duties being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Nikiski AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Nikiski AK. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Nikiski AK. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsOnce 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 pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Nikiski AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Nikiski AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. 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 call some local Nikiski 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Nikiski AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships 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 setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Nikiski AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Nikiski Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Nikiski AK.