How to Choose an LPN School in Elmendorf Afb Alaska
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Elmendorf Afb AK that will deliver the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following section. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Although cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important also. There are various other 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 to start with, 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 many tasks that they carry out in the Elmendorf Afb AK health facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being controlled by each state, the Elmendorf Afb AK health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered in Alaska that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Elmendorf Afb AK, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
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 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 available in the Elmendorf Afb AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Alaska community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 may 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 typically a 2 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.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state mandates.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Elmendorf Afb AK area. The duration of the instruction 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure that the training course 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 other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many Elmendorf Afb AK area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified 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 practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Elmendorf Afb AK and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points 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 evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Elmendorf Afb AK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited Alaska schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Elmendorf Afb AK school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, 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 Elmendorf Afb 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 programs 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 dissatisfied 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Elmendorf Afb AK area to help students obtain employment.
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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Elmendorf Afb AK area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Degree Elmendorf Afb 99506
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse degree program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Elmendorf Afb AK.
Why Did You Choose to Be an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being an LPN, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare some approaches about how you would like to address them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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