How to Enroll In an LPN School near Girdwood Alaska
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Girdwood AK that will furnish 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, aside from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next segment. When starting their search for LPN schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are significant factors, they are not the only qualifications 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 an LPN program that we will talk about later in this article. But first, 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 in Girdwood AK?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many duties that they complete in the Girdwood AK health care facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Although they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care 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 in need of medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Assisting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Girdwood 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 in Alaska
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Girdwood AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN Schools
Once 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 pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Girdwood AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost 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 only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Girdwood AK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs differ 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 certain 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 excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Girdwood 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Girdwood AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Girdwood AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Girdwood Alaska?
Girdwood is a resort town within the southern extent of the Municipality of Anchorage in the state of Alaska. Located near the end of the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet, Girdwood lies in a valley in the southwestern Chugach Mountains, surrounded by seven glaciers feeding into a number of creeks, which either converge within the valley or empty directly into the arm. Girdwood is typically accessed by the Seward Highway (Milepost 90), with the main line of the Alaska Railroad paralleling the highway. By road distance, most of the community lies within 35 to 40 miles (56 to 64 km) of downtown Anchorage. According to 2014 estimates, a little under 2,000 people live in the valley.
Founded as a community to supply miners during the Turnagain Arm gold rushes of the 1890s, Girdwood was mostly a small, quiet place until the middle of the 20th century. Two events drastically altered that. The first was the establishment of Alyeska Resort along the slopes of Mount Alyeska, which became an international destination coincidental with Anchorage's civic promotion of itself as "The Air Crossroads of the World". The second was the 1964 earthquake, which devastated the original townsite located directly along the arm. Following the earthquake, most of the town moved further up the valley to a new townsite, though a few homes remained and a strip mall was later constructed along the Seward Highway. Historically dominated in the years since the resort's opening by seasonally-occupied vacation homes and seasonal activity at the resort, the opening of the Alyeska Prince Hotel during the 1990s has shifted the resort, and hence Girdwood as a whole, more towards year-round activity and a year-round economy. This has led to periodic debates about community growth and affordability of housing for resort workers, many of whom over the years have resorted to camping illegally on public lands.
Girdwood still revolves heavily around seasonal activity, with skiing and snowboarding at Alyeska Resort bringing visitors and their money into the community. Summer activities are also popular, which include hiking, fishing and rafting. The Girdwood Forest Fair, held every July, is the community's most significant visitor attraction apart from resort-related activities. Girdwood is located within the northernmost extent of rain forest on Earth, and also serves as the closest point of access to Chugach National Forest from Anchorage proper.
Originally called "Glacier City," Girdwood was founded as a supply camp for placer gold miners with claims along the creeks feeding Turnagain Arm. It was renamed for Colonel James Girdwood, a Belfast-born, Scots-Irish entrepreneur and linen merchant who staked the first four gold claims along Crow Creek in 1896.
Pick the Right LPN School near Girdwood AK
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Girdwood AK.
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