How to Find the Right LPN Training near Anchorage Alaska
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Anchorage AK. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable 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 warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they carry out in the Anchorage AK health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention 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 job activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their job functions being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Anchorage AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further 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.
LPN Programs Online
Attending LPN schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Anchorage AK. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) was $45,030 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,970, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $61,030. Most licensed practical nurses near Anchorage AK work full time, although about 1 in 5 worked part time in 2016. Many work nights, weekends, and holidays, because medical care takes place at all hours. They may be required to work shifts of longer than 8 hours. Employment of LPNs is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026. Job prospects should be favorable for LPNs who are willing to work in rural and medically under served areas.
What to Ask LPN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Anchorage AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first 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 ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Anchorage AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to 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 enrolled in 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 practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Anchorage 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Anchorage AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Anchorage AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Anchorage AK?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Anchorage AK, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage; Dena'ina: Dgheyaytnu) is a unified home rule municipality in the U.S. state of Alaska. With an estimated 298,192 residents in 2016, it is Alaska's most populous city and contains more than 40 percent of the state's total population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in its most populous city. All together, the Anchorage metropolitan area, which combines Anchorage with the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough, had a population of 401,635 in 2016, which accounts for more than half of the state's population. At 1,706 square miles of land area, the city is the fourth largest city by land in the United States and larger than the smallest state, Rhode Island, at 1,212 square miles.
Anchorage is in the south-central portion of Alaska, at the terminus of the Cook Inlet, on a peninsula formed by the Knik Arm to the north and the Turnagain Arm to the south. The city limits span 1,961.1 square miles (5,079.2 km2) which encompass the urban core, a joint military base, several outlying communities and almost all of Chugach State Park.
Due to its location, almost equidistant from New York City, Frankfurt, and Tokyo, Anchorage lies within 9 1⁄2 hours by air of nearly 90% of the industrialized world. For this reason, the Anchorage International Airport is a common refueling stop for many international cargo flights and home to a major FedEx hub, which the company calls a "critical part" of its global network of services.
Choose the Right LPN Program near Anchorage AK
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. 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 exceptional reputations within the health care community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Online School for LPN. However, 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Anchorage AK.
More Practical Locations in Alaska