Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing Programs
How to Pick the Right One Near Knik Fairview Alaska
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Knik Fairview AK that will provide the necessary training. If you live in California or Texas, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. Other than the titles, there is no difference between an LPN and LVN. Both practice in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors and perform the same job functions. Although, as we will discuss in this article, their routine job activities can differ depending on the state where they are employed. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. But there are additional qualifications that a school must have and a decision should not be made based on location and cost 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 even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they carry out in the Knik Fairview AK healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Although they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention 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 everyday work activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being controlled by each state, the health facilities or other Knik Fairview AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Knik Fairview AK. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, generally 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 alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter 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 attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Online Programs
Attending LPN or LVN schools online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Knik Fairview AK. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things 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 on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Knik Fairview AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Knik Fairview AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN or LVN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Knik Fairview 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 programs you are considering 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Knik Fairview AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Knik Fairview AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right Knik Fairview LPN or LVN School
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, 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 medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose 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 Knik Fairview Alaska.