How to Enroll In an LPN Program in Kodiak Alaska
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Kodiak AK that will deliver the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although price and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of functions that they perform in the Kodiak AK medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Kodiak AK medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations available in Alaska that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Kodiak AK, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Kodiak AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Alaska community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Kodiak AK area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Alaska to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain Kodiak AK area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Kodiak AK along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 as well as the Kodiak AK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited Alaska schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) along 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 imperative that the Kodiak AK school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Kodiak 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Kodiak AK area to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Alaska require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships in the Kodiak AK area.
Choose the Right LPN College Kodiak 99615
Selecting the best Licensed Practical Nurse training program is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LVN in Kodiak AK.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a licensed practical nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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