How to Choose the Right LPN College near Smackover Arkansas
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Smackover AR. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 attests that the course of study properly 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 numerous tasks that they perform in the Smackover AR health facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. While they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job functions being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Smackover AR healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Smackover AR. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and family 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 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 Smackover 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.
Things 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 choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Smackover AR as well as within Arkansas and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole 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 as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Smackover AR.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Smackover 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 programs you are looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Smackover AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Smackover AR community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Smackover AR?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Smackover AR, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Smackover is a small city in northern Union County, Arkansas, United States. According to Citydata.com, the 2014 population was at 1,790. It had a large oil boom in the 1920s, with production continuing for some time.
In 1686, the French settlers called this area "SUMAC COUVERT", which translates to "covered in sumac bushes". This was transliterated, that is, phonetically Anglicized by the English-speaking settlers of the 19th century and later to the name "SMACKOVER."
Oil was discovered in this area in 1922; it attracted national attention, speculators, and an economic boom. Smackover was incorporated in 1923. In the 1920s there was a large-scale oil industry in Smackover. The industry declined here and across southern Arkansas by the 1960s, at a cost of many jobs and major losses to the area economy.
Enroll in the Right LPN School near Smackover AR
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN college 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 LPN Online Nursing Programs. However, by utilizing 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 drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in Smackover AR.
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