Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Colleges
How to Choose the Right One Near Anchorage Alaska
One of the first things that you need to do after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN school near Anchorage AK that will help guarantee your entrance into the rewarding field of nursing. If you reside in California or Texas, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Apart from the titles, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. But there are other credentials that a school must have and a selection should not be made based on cost and location alone. Such as do the schools offer job placement assistance and do they have high placement rates, which are both extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN 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 education and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Anchorage AK medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Anchorage AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Anchorage AK. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively 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 Programs
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Anchorage AK. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional 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 work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Anchorage AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Anchorage AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs 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. Many 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 enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Anchorage 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 or LVN 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 Anchorage AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Anchorage AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Find Out More Info About Learning to Become an LVN or LPN in Anchorage
Enroll in the Best Anchorage LPN or LVN Program
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Anchorage Alaska.
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