How to Select an LPN College in Delta Junction Alaska
Once you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Delta Junction AK that will provide the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the following section. 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 cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are additional questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the job 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 different duties that they carry out in the Delta Junction AK healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the Delta Junction AK health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two scholastic credentials available in Alaska that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain 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, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Delta Junction AK, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered 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 achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Delta Junction AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Alaska community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Delta Junction AK area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Alaska to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Training
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some Delta Junction AK area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as 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 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 select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Delta Junction AK along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Delta Junction AK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Alaska schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Delta Junction AK school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Delta Junction AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Delta Junction AK area to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Alaska require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Delta Junction AK area.
Pick the Right LPN Training Delta Junction 99737
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Delta Junction AK.
Why Did You Choose to Be an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for being an LPN, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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