How to Select an LPN Program in Bentonville Arkansas
Once you have decided on a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you locate a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) college in Bentonville AR that will furnish the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their duties do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the next segment. When initiating their search for schools, many potential nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their residences or that are the least costly. While cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example 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 talk about later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Duties
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different duties that they accomplish in the Bentonville AR health facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. Even though they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients seeking medical assistance is their domain. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily job activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Bentonville AR medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic credentials available in Arkansas that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Bentonville AR, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Bentonville AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive 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 past 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 typically a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bentonville AR area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Training
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many Bentonville AR area schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Bentonville AR along with the expense of tuition are probably 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 prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Bentonville AR school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited Arkansas schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) as well as 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 essential that the Bentonville AR school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Bentonville 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 looking at 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 contacts in the Bentonville AR area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs in Arkansas require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Bentonville AR area.
Select the Right LPN School Bentonville 72712
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse college is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become an LVN in Bentonville AR.
Why Did You Want to Be an LPN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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