How to Select the Right LPN or LVN Classes Near Anchorage Alaska
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Anchorage AK that will deliver the appropriate instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article.
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Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Anchorage Ak as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Anchorage Alaska.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, 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 Anchorage AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Anchorage AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships. Also, it's important that you choose a school that offers clinical training in the type of facility you are most interested in. For example, if you want training and experience in pediatric care, make sure that the school you choose provides adequate clinical rotation in an area Pediatric Hospital.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an approved school. Many states require a specific 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 provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Anchorage AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- NCLEX Exam Pass Rate. Once you receive your certificate or diploma, you must sign up for and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Enrolling in a school with at least a 75% pass rate is highly preferred. Lower pass rates may indicate that a school’s program, curriculum or instructors are ineffective in teaching its students. You can find out from the school what their passing rate is for the last 5 years, or request the information from the State Board of Nursing.
Choose the Best Anchorage Licensed Vocational Nurse Program
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, 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 checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Anchorage Alaska.