How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN Classes Near Juneau Alaska
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Juneau AK that will furnish the proper instruction. If you live 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 healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. Although tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they accomplish in the Juneau AK healthcare facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical care is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So depending on the state, their routine work functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being mandated by each state, the health care facilities or other Juneau AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN CoursesThere are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN or LVN near Juneau AK. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and ideally accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Taking LPN and LVN Online Classes
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Juneau AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Juneau Ak as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Juneau Alaska.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Juneau 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 most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Juneau 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 criteria for LPNs differ 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 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 enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements 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 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 superb reputation within the Juneau AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain 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 Juneau Licensed Practical Nurse Program
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 a Licensed Practical Nurse in Juneau Alaska.