Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Classes
How to Find the Right One Near Juneau Alaska
A first step that you need to take after making the decision to become a Licensed Practical Nurse is to locate and enroll in the right LPN program near Juneau AK that will help you enter the rewarding vocation of nursing. California or Texas residents will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LVN and an LPN. Both practice in health care facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform the same job duties. Although, as we will discuss in this report, their daily job functions can differ based on the state where they are employed. Most new students begin by looking for schools that are close to their homes and of those target the one that is least expensive. But there are additional qualifications that a school should have and a decision should not be made based on location and cost alone. Such as do the schools offer job placement assistance and do they have high placement rates, 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 program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the role 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 numerous duties that they perform in the Juneau AK medical facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Juneau AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training ProgramsThere are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN near Juneau AK. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, 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 option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately 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 becoming a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Juneau AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 work toward 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 Programs
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 checklist to begin narrowing down your options. 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 reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Juneau 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) 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 important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Juneau AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN or LVN schools 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Juneau AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Juneau AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Juneau LPN or LVN Program
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Juneau Alaska.