How to Pick the Right LPN Course near Sterling Alaska
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Sterling AK that will provide the appropriate education. 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 health care facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next section. When beginning their search for schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are significant considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important also. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s have a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Sterling AK health facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily job functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Sterling AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Sterling AK. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Sterling AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training 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, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Sterling AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Sterling AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different 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 important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Sterling 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 Sterling AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Sterling AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
School LPN Sterling Alaska
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you pick an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in School LPN and wanting to get more information on the topic LPN Courses. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Sterling AK.
More Nursing Locations in Alaska
Sterling is located on the western side of the Kenai Peninsula at 60°31′47″N 150°47′52″W / 60.52972°N 150.79778°W / 60.52972; -150.79778 (60.529635, -150.797887). It is bordered to the west by Ridgeway, to the southwest by Soldotna, and to the south by Funny River. Soldotna Creek forms the western boundary of the community, and the Kenai River forms the southern boundary.
Alaska Route 1, the Sterling Highway, runs through the community, leading southwest 11 miles (18 km) to the center of Soldotna and east 34 miles (55 km) to Cooper Landing at the outlet of Kenai Lake. The city of Kenai is 22 miles (35 km) to the west via Soldotna.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the Sterling CDP has a total area of 79.7 square miles (206.3 km2), of which 77.8 square miles (201.4 km2) are land and 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), or 2.36%, are water.