How to Choose an LPN School near Southard Oklahoma
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Southard OK. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus 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 different tasks that they carry out in the Southard OK health facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Oklahoma. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients seeking medical treatment is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Assisting physicians or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job functions being controlled by each state, the health care facilities or other Southard OK healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different 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 Southard 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.
LPN Programs Online
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Southard OK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask LPN Schools
Once 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 checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Southard OK as well as within Oklahoma and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Southard OK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs vary 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. 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 provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet 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 each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Oklahoma school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Southard OK 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 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 favorable reputation within the Southard OK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Southard OK community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Southard OK?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Southard OK, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
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Select the Right LPN Program near Southard OK
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you pick an LPN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Southard OK.
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