How to Enroll In an LPN College in Mabelvale Arkansas
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Mabelvale AR that will provide the necessary education. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their functions 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 future nursing students start with those that are the closest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are relevant points to consider, 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 various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many different functions that they accomplish in the Mabelvale AR healthcare facilities where they work. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the supervision 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 assistance is their dominion. 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 job functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational responsibilities being governed by each state, the Mabelvale AR medical facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two scholastic credentials available in Arkansas that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Mabelvale AR, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Mabelvale AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 generally a two year program after receiving 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 acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Mabelvale AR area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some Mabelvale AR area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional 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 commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines 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 necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Mabelvale AR along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the Mabelvale AR school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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 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 essential that the Mabelvale AR 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 practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Mabelvale 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Mabelvale AR area to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs in Arkansas require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships in the Mabelvale AR area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Course Mabelvale 72103
Picking the best Licensed Practical Nurse school is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Mabelvale AR.
Why Did You Want to Become an LPN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a licensed practical nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional 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 ready several approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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