How to Pick the Right LPN or LVN Classes Near Juneau Alaska
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Juneau AK that will deliver the necessary education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When starting 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 price and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, such as 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 potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
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What does an LPN or LVN Do?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they complete in the Juneau AK health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their routine work activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being controlled 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. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN ProgramsThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN or LVN near Juneau AK. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and ideally accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Enrolling in LPN and LVN Classes Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Juneau AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many 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 economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things 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 internet, 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 reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Juneau Alaska.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find 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 obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Juneau AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help 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 requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an approved school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools 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 displeased 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist 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.
Pick the Right Juneau Licensed Practical Nurse Training
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose 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 an LPN in Juneau Alaska.