How to Pick the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training near Tanaina Alaska
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Tanaina AK that will provide the right instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely 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 address later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different functions that they carry out in the Tanaina AK medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care 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 care is their domain. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work functions being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Tanaina AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Tanaina AK. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any 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.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Tanaina AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Tanaina AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. 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 pick compares to the field.
- 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. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Tanaina 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Tanaina 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Tanaina AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Tanaina AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Tanaina Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose 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 a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Tanaina AK.