How to Find the Right LPN Training in Galena Alaska
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Galena AK that will deliver the right training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When beginning their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Although tuition and location are relevant points to consider, 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 as well. 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 function 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 many duties that they carry out in the Galena AK healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Although they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their domain. 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 can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Galena AK healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic accreditations offered in Alaska that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Galena AK, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
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 receive 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 available in the Galena AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Alaska community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Galena AK area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Alaska to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain Galena AK area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities 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 active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Galena AK as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 Galena AK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited Alaska schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) in addition to 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 important that the Galena AK school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Galena 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Galena AK area to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Alaska require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships in the Galena AK area.
Pick the Right LPN Program Galena 99741
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse college is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Galena AK.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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