How to Pick an LPN College in Charleston Arkansas
Now that you have decided on a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Charleston AR that will provide the proper training. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When starting their search for schools, many future nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though tuition and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Functions
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have a number of duties that they accomplish in the Charleston AR health care facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. While they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
In addition to their job duties being controlled by each state, the Charleston AR health facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials available in Arkansas that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Charleston AR, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Charleston AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Charleston AR area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Arkansas to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many Charleston AR area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Charleston AR and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Charleston AR school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited Arkansas schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Charleston AR school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Charleston AR 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Charleston AR area 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 in Arkansas require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships in the Charleston AR area.
Select the Right LPN Training Charleston 72933
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse training program is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Charleston AR.
Why Did You Want to Be a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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