How to Select the Best Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Steele Creek Alaska
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Steele Creek AK that will deliver the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria 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 too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they carry out in the Steele Creek AK medical facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally 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. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Steele Creek AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Steele Creek AK. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Steele Creek AK. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active 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 online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Steele Creek AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Steele Creek AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with 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 enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet 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 as well. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Steele Creek 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Steele Creek AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Steele Creek AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Steele Creek Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final 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 Steele Creek AK.