How to Select an LPN School in Bay Arkansas
Now that you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Bay AR that will deliver the proper education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the closest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Even though price and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous tasks that they perform in the Bay AR health care facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. Even though they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical care is their dominion. Each state not only regulates their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job functions might include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Bay AR health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials available in Arkansas that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Bay AR, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Bay AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bay AR area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Arkansas to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many Bay AR area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Bay AR along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 degree or certificate program along with the Bay AR school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited Arkansas schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 important that the Bay AR school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Bay 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 colleges 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 healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Bay AR area to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Arkansas require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Bay AR area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Course Bay 72411
Picking the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Bay AR.
Why Did You Choose to Be an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming an LPN, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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