How to Choose the Right LPN College near Big Lake Alaska
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Big Lake AK that will provide the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are significant factors, they are not the only criteria 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 very important also. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they accomplish in the Big Lake AK health 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 overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care 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 assistance is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work duties being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Big Lake AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Big Lake AK. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN Programs Online
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Big Lake AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Big Lake AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Big Lake AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary 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. 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 attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Big Lake AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Big Lake AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Big Lake AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
LPN Online Program Big Lake Alaska
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in LPN Online Program and wanting to get more information on the topic LPN Online Nursing Schools. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Big Lake AK.
More Nursing Locations in Alaska
Big Lake, Alaska
Big Lake is a census-designated place (CDP) in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, United States. It is part of the Anchorage, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,350 at the 2010 census, up from 2,635 in 2000.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 144.8 square miles (375 km2), of which, 131.9 square miles (342 km2) of it is land and 12.9 square miles (33 km2) of it (8.89%) is water.
The area is home to three Alaska State Parks facilities. Big Lake North State Recreation Site is a 19 acres (7.7 ha) park with a large campground, picnic areas, boat launch, and jetski rentals.Big Lake South State Recreation Site has a smaller campground, picnic sites, and boat launch. Winter activities in both parks include cross country skiing, ice fishing, and dog mushing.