How to Choose the Right LPN School near Smithville Oklahoma
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Smithville OK. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing 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 pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum 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 many different functions that they accomplish in the Smithville OK health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Oklahoma. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work duties being regulated by each state, the medical facilities or other Smithville OK healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
Online LPN Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Smithville OK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN training 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 Smithville OK 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 Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Smithville OK as well as within Oklahoma and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Smithville OK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together 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 important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Oklahoma or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Oklahoma school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Smithville OK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 Smithville OK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Smithville OK community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Smithville OK?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Smithville OK, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Smithville lies in McCurtain County, just east of US Route 259 on Oklahoma Route 4. The town is just north of Mountain Fork Little River and about ten miles north of Broken Bow Lake. The town is among a handful of towns in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma, in an area known as Little Dixie.
As of the census of 2010, there were 113 people, 53 households, and 28 families residing in the town. The population density was 111 people per square mile (39/km²). There were 65 housing units at an average density of 60 per square mile (23/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 58.4% White, 34.5% Native American, and 7.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7% of the population.
There were 53 households, out of which 32% included children under the age of 18, 34% were married couples living together, 17% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47% were non-families. Individuals living alone accounted for 47% of households and those individuals 65 years of age or older living alone accounted for 21% of households. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 3.07.
Enroll in the Right LPN School near Smithville OK
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Licensed Practical Nursing Program. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Smithville OK.
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