How to Enroll In the Best LPN or LVN Training Program Near Juneau Alaska
Once you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Juneau AK that will provide the right 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, other than 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 duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are important points to consider, 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 very important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let's look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
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Job Duties of an LPN or LVN
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they perform in the Juneau AK health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job activities may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work functions being controlled by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Juneau AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN TrainingThere are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN or LVN near Juneau AK. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing 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 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 the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Attending LVN and LPN Courses Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Juneau AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain 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 practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Juneau Ak as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Juneau Alaska.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Juneau AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check 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 prerequisites for LPNs vary 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 approved school. Certain 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 exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy 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 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 favorable reputation within the Juneau AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain 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.
Pick the Best Juneau Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Juneau Alaska.