How to Pick the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Course near Wasilla Alaska
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Wasilla AK that will furnish the proper instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they accomplish in the Wasilla AK health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Wasilla AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Wasilla AK. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Wasilla AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsNow that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Wasilla AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Wasilla AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 essential that the school you are attending 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. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Wasilla 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 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 favorable reputation within the Wasilla AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Wasilla AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Wasilla Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Training
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Wasilla AK.