How to Choose an LPN College near State University Arkansas
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near State University AR. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain 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, in addition to supplying 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 needs to 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 properly 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 tasks that they carry out in the State University AR health care facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. Even though they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and varied, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job duties being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other State University AR healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
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 State University 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.
Online LPN Programs
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in State University AR. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with 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 hectic schedule.
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 online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near State University AR as well as within Arkansas and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. 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 selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near State University AR.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary 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 specific 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 provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local State University AR 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 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the State University AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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 requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby State University AR community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near State University AR?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near State University AR, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University (also known as A-State) is a public research university and is the flagship campus of the Arkansas State University System, the state's second largest college system and second largest university by enrollment. It is located atop 1,376 acres (5.6 km2) on Crowley's Ridge at Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States. The university marked its centennial year in 2009. Arkansas State has Sun Belt rivalries with all West Division schools (Little Rock, Louisiana, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas State, and UT Arlington). Their primary Sun Belt rivals are Little Rock and Louisiana-Monroe.
A-State was founded as the First District Agricultural School in Jonesboro in 1909 by the Arkansas Legislature as a regional agricultural training school. Robert W. Glover, a Missionary Baptist pastor who served in both houses of the Arkansas Legislature from Sheridan (1905–1912), introduced in 1909 the resolution calling for the establishment of four state agricultural colleges, including the future ASU.
In 1918, ASU began offering a two-year college program. In 1925, it became First District Agricultural and Mechanical College. A four-year degree program was begun in 1930. A & M College became Arkansas State College in 1933. In 1967, the Arkansas Legislature elevated the college to university status and changed the name to Arkansas State University.
Choose the Right LPN School near State University AR
Choosing the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you select an LPN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in State University AR.
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