Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Choose the Right One Near Fairbanks Alaska
One of the first things that you need to do after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN program near Fairbanks AK that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying vocation of nursing. California or Texas residents will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Apart from the names, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However, as we will discuss in this article, their routine job activities can vary based on the state where they are employed. Most new students start 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 extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they perform in the Fairbanks AK medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Fairbanks AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN TrainingThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Fairbanks AK. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about one 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 option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Fairbanks AK. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
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 internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Fairbanks AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points 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 evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Fairbanks AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs and LVNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Fairbanks AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Fairbanks AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Fairbanks AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Fairbanks LPN or LVN Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Fairbanks Alaska.