How to Enroll In the Best LVN or LPN Program Near Knik Fairview Alaska
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college near Knik Fairview 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, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will address later in this article. But first, let's have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
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LPN and LVN Job Description
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are an important part of the healthcare team, supporting doctors and nurses in caring for patients of all ages. LPNs work closely with registered nurses (RNs) and physicians to provide patients with basic nursing care. An LPN’s duties can vary slightly depending on the healthcare setting and the state in which they work. For example, some states do not permit LPNs to administer medication or start IV drips. In other states, experienced LPNs are able to supervise and manage less-experienced nurses or nursing aides. Some of the typical duties of an LPN might include:
- Monitoring patients
- Taking patient vital signs and histories
- Performing routine assessments, such as checking blood pressure
- Changing bandages
- Inserting IVs or catheters
- Listening to patients’ concerns and reporting back to RNs and doctors
- Ensuring patients are comfortable
- Helping patients bathe or dress
LPNs can also work in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including Knik Fairview AK hospitals, doctor's offices and urgent care clinics. Due to an aging population, there is a growing need for LPNs in long-term care, such as rehabilitation centers, residential treatment centers and hospice. Most LPNs work in nursing and residential care facilities.
LPN CoursesSelecting the right LPN program is an important first step. Programs lead to a certificate, diploma, or an associate degree. Coursework for certificate, diploma, and degree programs can be completed online or in person. Hybrid programs allow aspiring LPNs to complete required courses in a virtual setting, while clinical hours must be fulfilled in person at an approved local site. Regardless of academic setting or type of program, LPNs in training cover much of the same core coursework. Full-time students usually take 12-15 credits per semester, learning necessary skills and knowledge by studying theories, completing lab assignments, and spending time in clinical settings. After completing LPN education requirements and earning their credential, students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN) before they can be licensed and hired to practice as an LPN.
Enrolling in LPN and LVN Online Courses
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Knik Fairview AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN Programs
Once 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 options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Knik Fairview Ak as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly 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 prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Knik Fairview Alaska.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Knik Fairview 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 effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local Knik Fairview AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist 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 requirements 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. 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 enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Knik Fairview AK healthcare 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 Right Knik Fairview Licensed Practical Nurse School
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Knik Fairview Alaska.