How to Pick the Right LPN College near Forrest City Arkansas
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Forrest City AR. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many different functions that they complete in the Forrest City AR health facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. Although they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical 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 care is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their routine job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job duties being mandated by each state, the medical facilities or other Forrest City AR healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Forrest City AR. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN 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 Forrest City AR 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.
Questions to Ask LPN Schools
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Forrest City AR as well as within Arkansas and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Forrest City AR.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet 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. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Forrest City AR 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Forrest City AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Forrest City AR community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Forrest City AR?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Forrest City AR, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Forrest City, Arkansas
Forrest City is a city in St. Francis County, Arkansas, United States, and the county seat. It was named for General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who used the location as a campsite for a construction crew completing a railroad between Memphis and Little Rock, shortly after the Civil War. The population was 15,371 at the 2010 census, an increase from 14,774 in 2000. The city refers to itself as the "Jewel of the Delta".
On October 13, 1827, St. Francis County, located in the east central part of Arkansas, was officially organized by the Arkansas Territorial Legislature in Little Rock. Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest became interested in the area around Crowley's Ridge during the Civil War. In 1866 General Forrest and C. C. McCreanor contracted to finish the Memphis & Little Rock Railroad from Madison located on the St. Francis River to DeValls Bluff on the west bank of the White River. The route traversed the challenging Crowley's Ridge and L'Anguille River bottoms. The first trains came through in 1868.
General Forrest later built a commissary on Front Street. Colonel V.B. Izard began the task of designing the town at the same time. Most residents were calling the area "Forrest's Town," later to be known as Forrest City, incorporated May 11, 1870. The county seat was initially located in the now defunct town of Franklin until 1840 when it was moved to Madison. In 1855 it was moved to Mount Vernon where the court house burned in 1856 destroying county records prompting a move back to Madison. The county seat was moved to a wooden structure in Forrest City in 1874, which burned shortly thereafter, again destroying county records.
Select the Right LPN School near Forrest City AR
Picking the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Accredited LPN Online Programs. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Forrest City AR.
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