How to Enroll In an LPN College in Wasilla Alaska
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Wasilla AK that will deliver the appropriate instruction. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. While tuition and location are significant factors, they are not the only qualifications 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 very important also. There are additional 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 job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Wasilla AK health facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being regulated by each state, the Wasilla AK health care 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 various specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are generally two academic credentials offered in Alaska that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Wasilla AK, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in 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 six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wasilla AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Alaska community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Wasilla AK area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Alaska to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain Wasilla AK area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt 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 to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Wasilla AK and 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 prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Wasilla AK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Wasilla AK school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Wasilla 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 colleges 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Wasilla AK area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Alaska require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Wasilla AK area.
Pick the Right LPN School Wasilla 99654
Selecting the best Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you select 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 develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Wasilla AK.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being an LPN, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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