How to Choose the Right LVN or LPN Program Near Fairbanks Alaska
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Fairbanks AK that will provide the necessary training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article.
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What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Fairbanks Ak as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Fairbanks Alaska.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Fairbanks 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 get 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 mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Fairbanks AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning 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 requirements 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares 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 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 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 good reputation within the Fairbanks AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- 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 Fairbanks Licensed Vocational Nurse Program
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you choose an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Fairbanks Alaska.