How to Choose an LPN Program in Sheridan Arkansas
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Sheridan AR that will provide the right 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, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in medical facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do fluctuate depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When starting their search for schools, many prospective nursing students begin with the ones that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least costly. While cost and location are important points to consider, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Activities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have numerous tasks that they perform in the Sheridan AR health facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. Although they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and varied, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine work functions may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being governed by each state, the Sheridan AR healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered in Arkansas that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Sheridan AR, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degrees
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 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 offered in the Sheridan AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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. Additional 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.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Sheridan AR area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Arkansas to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to 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.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain Sheridan AR area schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within 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 Sheridan AR along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see 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 Sheridan AR school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining 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 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Sheridan AR school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Sheridan AR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Sheridan AR area to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs in Arkansas require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Sheridan AR area.
Pick the Right LPN Degree Sheridan 72150
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is arguably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick 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 a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Sheridan AR.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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