Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Programs
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 school near Fairbanks AK that will help you enter the rewarding profession of nursing. California or Texas students will instead enroll in an LVN school to learn to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and LVN. They both work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and fulfill identical job duties. Although, as we will discuss in this report, their daily job functions can differ depending 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 lean towards the one that is least expensive. But there are other qualifications that a school must 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 program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's look at what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Fairbanks AK. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, 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 warrants that the core curriculum 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 Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Fairbanks AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, 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 decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Fairbanks 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, 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 nearby 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Fairbanks AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific 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 nearby Fairbanks AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Fairbanks LPN or LVN School
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Fairbanks Alaska.