How to Enroll In an LPN School in Decatur Arkansas
Once you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school in Decatur AR that will furnish 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, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in health care facilities under the supervision 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 section. When beginning their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are relevant factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other variables, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are additional 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 first, let’s have a look at the role 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 numerous duties that they carry out in the Decatur AR health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. While they may be accountable 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 assorted, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily work functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being governed by each state, the Decatur AR health care facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can work in different specialties of nursing, including long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
There are essentially two academic credentials available in Arkansas that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Decatur 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 continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Decatur 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 job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Decatur AR area. The length of the training 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 receive 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 minimal amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Arkansas to make sure that the training 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 additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Some Decatur AR area schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Decatur AR and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the Decatur AR school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited Arkansas schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, are different 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Decatur AR school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Decatur 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 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts in the Decatur AR area to assist students attain a position.
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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships in the Decatur AR area.
Enroll in the Right LPN Course Decatur 72722
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse college is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Decatur AR.
Why Did You Choose to Become an LPN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming an LPN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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