Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Courses
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Anchorage Alaska
A first step that you need to take after deciding to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to find and enroll in the right LPN program near Anchorage AK that will help you enter the gratifying profession of nursing. 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 LVN and an LPN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following segment. Many nursing candidates begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their homes and of those lean towards the one that is least expensive. But there are other credentials that a school should have and a decision should not be made based on cost and location alone. Such as 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss below.
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Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Anchorage 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 already discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Anchorage AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain 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 delivers a top-notch 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 assessments are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to determine 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 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Anchorage AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. 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.
Enroll in the Right Anchorage LPN or LVN Program
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Anchorage Alaska.