How to Pick an LPN Training in Dillingham Alaska
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Dillingham AK that will provide the necessary 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, 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 guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important too. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Dillingham AK health care facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Although 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 healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine work activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Dillingham AK medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered in Alaska that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Dillingham AK, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Dillingham AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Alaska community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Dillingham AK area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise 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 education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain Dillingham AK area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Dillingham AK as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Dillingham AK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Dillingham AK school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Dillingham 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Dillingham AK area to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Alaska require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Dillingham AK area.
Choose the Right LPN Degree Dillingham 99576
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Dillingham AK.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being an LPN, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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