How to Choose the Best LPN Program near Dillingham Alaska
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Dillingham AK that will deliver the right instruction. If you reside 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 perform the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. Although cost 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 even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN course that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s have a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they complete in the Dillingham AK health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Although they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical attention is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day job functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their work functions being governed by each state, the health care facilities or other Dillingham AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Dillingham AK. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN Programs
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Dillingham AK. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask LPN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Dillingham AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Dillingham AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Dillingham 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 looking at 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Dillingham AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local Dillingham AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
One Year LPN Programs Dillingham Alaska
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in One Year LPN Programs and wanting to get more information on the topic LVN Schools Online. However, by utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 a Licensed Practical Nurse in Dillingham AK.
More Nursing Locations in Alaska
Dillingham /ˈdɪlɪŋhæm/ (Curyuk in Central Alaskan Yup'ik), also known as Curyung and (for the southwestern section) Kanakanak, is a city in Dillingham Census Area, Alaska, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 2,329, down from 2,466 in 2000.
Dillingham is on Nushagak Bay at the mouth of the Nushagak River, an inlet of Bristol Bay, an arm of the Bering Sea in the North Pacific, in southwestern Alaska. It is located at 59°02′48″N 158°30′31″W / 59.04667°N 158.50861°W / 59.04667; -158.50861 (59.046751, -158.508665).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.3 square miles (94.1 km2). 33.6 square miles (86.9 km2) of it is land, and 2.8 square miles (7.2 km2) of it (7.64%) is water. This may change as the City of Dillingham will likely petition the State of Alaska to increase the size of its boundaries to include most of Nushagak Bay and Wood River, to gain revenue from the Nushagak District and Wood River Special Harvest Area commercial salmon fisheries.