Alaska is not one of the most densely populated states, despite being as large as it is. There are in fact relatively few people living there for its size. However, the opportunities for LPN nurses in this state are on the increase, just as in every other state.
Generally speaking becoming an LPN at this point in time is a fantastic idea as you will be able to be secure in the knowledge that your job is safe and that you will always be able to find employment. Good health care is now a prerequisite across the country, resulting in a growing demand for nurses with an LPN qualification. Working as an LPN in Alaska is not the worst career decision you could make.
To receive a license to practice as an LPN in Alaska follows a very similar path to most other states. Firstly you will have to have a high school diploma to get into an LPN course. You will also need to have a clear credit history and criminal background (although in some cases, as long as you are open abut your criminal record from the outset, certain exceptions can be made). To actually be licensed as an LPN you will need to have completed an accredited LPN training program of some kind. Most programs in Alaska will take about 12 months to complete, so make sure that you are able to dedicate the time required for the successful completion of your LPN qualification. Once that training program is successfully completed you will have to pass the relevant exam. To practice in the state of Alaska as an LPN you will obviously have to pass the exam for that state before you can continue with your chosen career.
In order to get into an LPN program in the first place you will need to meet certain requirements in Alaska. These requirements are as follows:
- You will have to provide proof that you were a qualified CNA before embarking on an LPN program. This requires providing documentation proving your enrollment and successful completion of an accredited CNA course.
- Next you will have to pass a basic reading test that is required in the state of Alaska. If you have trouble in this regard it may be worth your while to brush up on your reading skills before applying.
- You will need to have a CPR certificate that is current and up to date.
- You will need to participate in a background test, which will have to come back clean if you want to work as an LPN in the state of Alaska.
- You will also need to do a health test which will also have to come back clean if you are to study to be an LPN in Alaska.
To work as an LPN in the state of Alaska you will have to pass the relevant examination. This LPN examination will cost you $200 to participate in.
Financial Aid Available
There are plenty of financial aid option open to LPN student wishing to study in Alaska. It is essential that you apply for scholarships with all of the online and face-to-face schools that you are interested in applying at. Many of them will offer help and at times you may receive enough help so that you do not have to pay anything at all for your course. If you are receiving military or unemployment benefits this will go a long way to helping you pay for your LPN tuition fees. If you are currently employed in a nursing context you may be able to apply to your employer for help. Many employers are happy to help their CNAs upgrade to LPNs may even cover the entire cost of your training. Even if they do not cover the entire cost of your training you will probably be able to cover the additional charges by applying for grants and scholarships. On top of that many people qualify for state aid when studying to become an LPN. Ensure that you inquire carefully about your options in this regard.
List of Schools
Alaska has comparatively few schools to choose from when looking for an LPN program. The top places to study to become and LPN in Alaska are:
- University of Alaska (Anchorage)
- Kaplan University
- Dover Business College
- Bohecker College
- Indiana State University
- Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) – Alaska’s Institute of Technology – (Anchorage)
- Alaska’s Institute of Technology (Seward, AK)
There are two online programs in Alaska that will allow you to become an LPN. These are:
- TESST College of Technology
- South University
However there are several considerations to keep in mind when considering online training. These considerations are discussed below.
Finding the right program for you
If you are unable to find a school in Alaska that fits in with your timetable remember that there are several distance learning options for you to look into. Distance learning and online courses allow for you to work at your own pace and have a far more flexible schedule. You will also be able to continue your current job while studying and generally these courses are a lot cheaper as well. However, you need to keep the following considerations in mind:
- Is the school that you are doing distance learning with properly accredited? If it is not you will be wasting your time and money as your LPN qualification will be useless at the end of it all. To find out which schools are properly accredited check the Alaska state board of nursing.
- You will have to do practical work no matter what the online course promises you. It is impossible to do an LPN qualification entirely online, and if you choose this option you will be responsible for finding a health care institute near you where you can do your clinical training. You cannot receive your LPN qualification if you are not properly trained in both the theory and the practical side of the course.
- What kind of teaching methods do you benefit from the most? If you are someone who works well on their own and that can motivate themselves to do the work that is necessary, then an online program will be perfect for you and will slot into your schedule nicely. If however you excel in a classroom situation, if you need a lot of prompting and guidance to get through a course, and if you prefer to have interaction with lecturers and other students, than you should consider trying to do a face-to-face qualification instead as this will be a lot easier for you.
The programs at the various schools may differ slightly, but the following basic ideas should be included in your course in the state of Alaska:
In order to be an LPN you should ensure that you meet the following personality requirements as well:
Confidence: you will need to display confidence in yourself and in your skills in order to put your patients at ease and in order to do your job properly, quickly and effectively. Confidence will develop as you progress through your LPN course.
Multitasking: the job of an LPN is a difficult one and there will often be multiple things that require your attention at the same time. It is therefore essential that you are able to multitask and deal with the various problems that may arise at the same time.
Good interpersonal skills. The key focus of your job is one your interpersonal interactions with your patients and you will therefore need to have the interpersonal skills of kindness and empathy in order to cope with this all important aspect of your job description.
Attention to detail: this is an incredibly important part of being an LPN> your patient’s well being depends on your accuracy, so it is important to get things 100% correct in all domains. This includes the administration of medication as well as in the accurate recording of your patient’s vital signs and history.
As you can see, if you are living in Alaska and would like to improve your standing in the nursing community by earning an LPN, there are many options open to you if you look in the right places. It is important, however that you have the right motivation and personality for the job. If you are in it for the money, for example, then you are going to be sorely disappointed. If you are in it to help your patients, care for others, and make a difference in the world, then you will be happy in your career as an LPN.