How to Pick the Best LPN Course near Anchorage Alaska
Now that you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Anchorage AK that will furnish the proper instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching 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 medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous duties that they complete in the Anchorage AK health care facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job functions being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Anchorage AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Anchorage AK. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Anchorage AK. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask LPN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Anchorage AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Anchorage AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services 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. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Anchorage AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Anchorage AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Anchorage AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
LVN Training Anchorage Alaska
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in LVN Training and wanting to get more information on the topic LVN Course. However, 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Anchorage AK.
More Nursing Locations in Alaska
Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage; Dena'ina: Dgheyaytnu; Russian: Анкоридж) is a unified home rule municipality in the U.S. state of Alaska, on the West Coast of the United States. With an estimated 291,538 residents in 2018, it is Alaska's most populous city and contains more than 40% of the state's population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in its most populous city. The Anchorage metropolitan area, which includes Anchorage and the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough, had a population of 399,148 in 2018, accounting for more than half the state's population. At 1,706 square miles (4,420 km2) of land area, the city is the fourth-largest by area in the United States and larger than the smallest state, Rhode Island, which has 1,212 square miles (3,140 km2).
Anchorage is in Southcentral Alaska, at the terminus of the Cook Inlet, on a peninsula formed by the Knik Arm to the north and the Turnagain Arm to the south. The city limits span 1,961.1 square miles (5,079.2 km2), encompassing the urban core, a joint military base, several outlying communities and almost all of Chugach State Park.
Due to its location, almost equidistant from New York City, Frankfurt, and Tokyo, Anchorage lies within 9 1⁄2 hours by air of nearly 90% of the industrialized world. For this reason, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is a common refueling stop for international cargo flights and home to a major FedEx hub, which the company calls a "critical part" of its global network of services.