Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Schools
How to Choose the Right One Near Juneau 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 college near Juneau AK that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying field of nursing. California or Texas residents will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Apart from the titles, there is no difference between an LVN and an LPN. Both work in health care facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and fulfill the same job duties. Although, as we will discuss in this article, their daily job functions can differ depending on the state where they are employed. Most new students begin by searching for schools that are close to their homes and of those lean towards the one that is least expensive. While price and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. For example are the schools accredited or do they have high pass rates on the licensing exam, which are both extremely important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Juneau AK. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Attending LPN or LVN programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Juneau AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that 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 utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Juneau AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Juneau AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Juneau 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Juneau AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Juneau AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Juneau LPN or LVN Program
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 Juneau Alaska.