How to Choose the Right LPN College near Prairie Grove Arkansas
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become an LPN near Prairie Grove AR. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately 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 a number of tasks that they perform in the Prairie Grove AR healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical care is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Prairie Grove AR healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
Online LPN Programs
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Prairie Grove AR. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy 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 Prairie Grove 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 internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Prairie Grove AR as well as within Arkansas and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Prairie Grove AR.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Prairie Grove 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 programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 Prairie Grove AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Prairie Grove AR community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Prairie Grove AR?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Prairie Grove AR, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Prairie Grove, Arkansas
Prairie Grove is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 4,380 at the 2010 Census. It is part of the Northwest Arkansas region, and home to Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park. The park spans a large amount of land and contains a visitor center, museum, several monuments, a driving tour and a collection of period buildings and homes.
Prairie Grove was the site of the Battle of Prairie Grove during the American Civil War. Confederate forces under General Thomas C. Hindman attempted to prevent the juncture of two Federal forces under Generals James G. Blunt and Francis J. Herron. The result of the battle was a tactical stalemate which assured permanent Union control of northwest Arkansas. The battlefield is now a State Military Park.
The Natural Resources Defense Council released an issue paper stating between that 1997 and 2001, Prairie Grove was the center of a cluster of testicular cancer cases. No clear cause has been identified but the NRDC notes the town is near a closed nuclear reactor and a low-level radioactive landfill. Arsenic from industrialized chicken manure is another possible source. In 2004, residents sued one of the poultry farms and the poultry feed manufacturer for spreading contaminated manure throughout Prairie Grove. The lawsuit did not assign blame and the cause of the cancer cluster has never been definitively determined.
Choose the Right LPN School near Prairie Grove AR
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you select an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in LPN School Online. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Prairie Grove AR.
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