How to Select an LPN School in Craig Alaska
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Craig AK that will furnish the proper education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, aside 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. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are relevant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous duties that they carry out in the Craig AK healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace 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 everyday work activities can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Craig AK healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are basically two academic credentials offered in Alaska that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable 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 guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Craig AK, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Craig AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Alaska community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Craig AK area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Alaska to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many Craig AK area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical 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 alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Craig AK and the cost of tuition are most likely 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 before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Craig AK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited Alaska schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Craig AK school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Craig 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Craig AK area to help students obtain employment.
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 in Alaska require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Craig AK area.
Select the Right LPN College Craig 99921
Picking the best Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 LVN in Craig AK.
Why Did You Desire to Become an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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