How to Select the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Program near Tanaina Alaska
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Tanaina AK that will provide the right training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than 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. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the Tanaina AK medical facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job duties being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Tanaina AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Tanaina AK. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should 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 syllabus properly 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 Schools
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Tanaina AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN ProgramsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt 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 essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Tanaina AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs vary 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. Some states require a specific 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 an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, 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 nearby Tanaina 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Tanaina AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Tanaina AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right Tanaina Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding 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 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 Tanaina AK.