Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Training
How to Select the Best One Near Juneau 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 school near Juneau AK that will help guarantee your entrance into the gratifying vocation of nursing. Texas or California residents will alternatively enroll in an LVN school to train to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Other than the titles, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. They both practice in health care facilities under the supervision of Physicians and Registered Nurses and perform identical job duties. However, as we will discuss in this report, their daily job activities can vary depending on the state where they are practicing. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they carry out in the Juneau AK health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Juneau AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and DegreesThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Juneau AK. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN and LVN Programs
Enrolling in LPN or LVN programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Juneau AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household 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 hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN or LVN certificate or degree, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Juneau AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist 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) in addition to 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN or LVN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 schools 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 dissatisfied 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 Juneau AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Juneau AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Juneau LPN or LVN School
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse in Juneau Alaska.