How to Select the Right LPN College near Helena Arkansas
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Helena AR. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively 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 many different tasks that they complete in the Helena AR medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational functions being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Helena AR healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
Online LPN Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Helena AR. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that 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 Helena 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
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Helena AR as well as within Arkansas and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Helena AR.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Helena AR 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Helena AR healthcare 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. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Helena AR community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Helena AR?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Helena AR, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Helena–West Helena, Arkansas
Helena–West Helena is the county seat of and the largest city within Phillips County, Arkansas, United States. The current city was consolidated, effective January 1, 2006, from the two Arkansas cities of Helena and West Helena. Helena is sited on lowlands between the Mississippi River and the eastern side of Crowley's Ridge. West Helena is located on the western side of Crowley's Ridge, a geographic anomaly in the typically flat Arkansas Delta. The Helena Bridge, one of Arkansas' four Mississippi River bridges, carries U.S. Route 49 across to Mississippi. The combined population of the two cities was 15,012 at the 2000 census and at the 2010 census, the official population was 12,282.
The municipality traces its historical roots to the founding of the port town of Helena on the Mississippi River by European Americans in 1833. As the county seat, Helena was the center of a prosperous cotton plantation region in the antebellum years. Helena was occupied by the Union Army early in the American Civil War. The city was the site of the Battle of Helena fought in 1863. Confederate forces unsuccessfully tried to expel Union forces from Helena in order to help relieve pressure on the strategic river town of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Later in the year, Helena served as the launching point for the Union Army in the capture of Little Rock, the state capital.
A thriving blues community developed here in the 1940s and 1950s as rural musicians relocated for city jobs. Mechanization had reduced the need for farm workers. The city continued to grow until the closing of the Mohawk Rubber Company, a subsidiary of Yokohama Rubber Company, in the 1970s. Unemployment surged shortly after.
Select the Right LPN School near Helena AR
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in LVN Certificate. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Helena AR.
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