How to Choose the Best LPN or LVN School Near Juneau Alaska
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it's important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Juneau AK that will deliver the proper instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are important factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are even more 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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What to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once 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 guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. 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 important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Juneau Alaska.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Juneau AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Juneau AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement 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) in addition to graduation from an approved school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with 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 complete 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Juneau AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain 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 Right Juneau Licensed Practical Nurse Training
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Juneau Alaska.