How to Select an LPN College in Hoonah Alaska
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Hoonah 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 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. However their duties do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are even more 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 instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many duties that they carry out in the Hoonah AK health facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Hoonah AK health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations offered in Alaska that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Hoonah AK, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Hoonah AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Alaska community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hoonah AK area. The length of the training 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 mandated to obtain 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 period of instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 certain that the education 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain Hoonah AK area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Hoonah AK and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Hoonah AK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Hoonah AK school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Hoonah 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential 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 relationships in the Hoonah AK area to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Hoonah AK area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Hoonah 99829
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Hoonah AK.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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