How to Select the Best LPN or LVN College near Wasilla Alaska
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Wasilla AK that will provide the necessary instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are additional 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 to start with, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of functions that they perform in the Wasilla AK health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction 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. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Wasilla AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN CoursesThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Wasilla AK. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Schools
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Wasilla AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy 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 on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. 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 manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Wasilla AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 looking at 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Wasilla AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Wasilla AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Wasilla Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Wasilla AK.