How to Enroll In the Right LPN Course near Fairbanks Alaska
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Fairbanks AK that will deliver the right instruction. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be searching 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 health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Although cost and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance 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 prospective schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different duties that they accomplish in the Fairbanks AK health care facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. While they may be accountable for overseeing 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 varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work activities might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational functions being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Fairbanks AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Fairbanks AK. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN Programs Online
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Fairbanks AK. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Fairbanks 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 along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Fairbanks AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy 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 all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Fairbanks AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Fairbanks AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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 too. Find out if the schools have associations with local Fairbanks AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Practical Nursing Programs Fairbanks Alaska
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Practical Nursing Programs and wanting to get more information on the topic Practical Nursing Online. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Fairbanks AK.
More Nursing Locations in Alaska
Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska. 2016 estimates put the population of the city proper at 32,751, and the population of the Fairbanks North Star Borough at 100,605, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska (after Anchorage). The Metropolitan Statistical Area encompasses all of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and is the northernmost Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States, located 196 driving miles (or 140 air miles) south of the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the founding campus of the University of Alaska system.
Though there was never a permanent Alaska Native settlement at the site of Fairbanks, Athabascan peoples have used the area for thousands of years. An archaeological site excavated on the grounds of the University of Alaska Fairbanks uncovered a Native camp about 3,500 years old. From evidence gathered at the site, archaeologists surmise that Native activities in the area were limited to seasonal hunting and fishing. In addition, archeological sites on the grounds of nearby Fort Wainwright date back 10,000 years. Arrowheads excavated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks site matched similar items found in Asia, providing some of the first evidence that humans arrived in North America via the land bridge.
Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross (or Tanana Crossing, where the Valdez–Eagle trail crossed the Tanana River), where he intended to set up a trading post. The steamboat on which Barnette was a passenger, the Lavelle Young, ran aground while attempting to negotiate shallow water. Barnette, along with his party and supplies, were deposited along the banks of the Chena River 7 miles (11 km) upstream from its confluence with the Tanana River. The sight of smoke from the steamer's engines caught the attention of gold prospectors working in the hills to the north, most notably an Italian immigrant named Felice Pedroni (better known as Felix Pedro) and his partner Tom Gilmore. The two met Barnette where he disembarked and convinced him of the potential of the area. Barnette set up his trading post at the site, still intending to eventually make it to Tanacross. Teams of gold prospectors soon congregated in and around the newly founded Fairbanks; they built drift mines, dredges, and lode mines in addition to panning and sluicing.