How to Find the Right LPN School near Homer Alaska
Once you have decided on a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Homer AK that will furnish the appropriate education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in medical 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 look at in the next segment. When initiating their search for LPN schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While cost and location are relevant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are very important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Homer AK?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different tasks that they perform in the Homer AK medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually 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. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical attention is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday job activities might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Homer AK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in Alaska
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Homer AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Homer AK as well as within Alaska and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely 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 ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Homer 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Homer AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 finish 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 Homer AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships 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. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Homer AK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Homer Alaska?
Homer is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is 218 miles southwest of Anchorage. According to the 2010 Census, the population is 5,003, up from 3,946 in 2000. Long known as The "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World." Homer is also nicknamed "the end of the road," and more recently, "the cosmic hamlet by the sea."
Homer is on the shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its distinguishing feature is the Homer Spit, a narrow 4.5 mi (7.2 km)) long gravel bar that extends into the bay, on which is located the Homer Harbor.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.4 square miles (58 km2), of which 10.6 square miles (27 km2) is land and 11.9 square miles (31 km2) is water. The total area is 52.83% water.
As with much of South Central Alaska, Homer has a moderate subarctic coastal climate (Köppen Dsc) which causes its weather to be moderate compared to interior Alaska. Winters are snowy and long but not particularly cold, considering the latitude, with the average January high only slightly below freezing. Snow averages 50 inches (127 cm) per season, falling primarily from November through March, with some accumulation in October and April, and rarely in May. Homer receives only about 25 inches of rainfall annually due to the influence of the Chugach Mountains to the southeast which shelter it from the Gulf of Alaska. There are 7 nights of sub-0 °F (−18 °C) lows annually, and the area straddles the border between USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5B and 6A, indicating an average annual minimum of around −10 °F (−23 °C). Summers are cool due to the marine influence, with 75 °F (24 °C) highs or 55 °F (13 °C) lows being extremely rare. Extreme temperatures have ranged from −24 °F (−31 °C) on January 28–29, 1989 up to 84 °F (29 °C) on July 22, 2011.
Choose the Right LPN School near Homer AK
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Homer AK.
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