Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Select the Best One Near Anchorage Alaska
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Anchorage AK that will deliver the right education. Texas or California residents will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LVN and an LPN. Both practice in medical facilities supervised by Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform the same job functions. Although, as we will discuss in this article, their routine job functions can vary based on the state where they are employed. Most new students start searching for schools that are within driving distance of their homes and of those target the one that has the lowest tuition. But there are other qualifications that a school should have and a selection should not be made based on cost and location alone. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both very important too. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about below.
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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 on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous 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 choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, 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 programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in 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. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Anchorage AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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 setting. 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 also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Anchorage AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best Anchorage LPN or LVN School
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Anchorage Alaska.