How to Enroll In an LPN Program near Mena Arkansas
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Mena AR that will furnish the proper instruction. 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 supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will address in the next section. When initiating their search for LPN schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are relevant considerations, 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 very important as well. There are additional questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Mena AR?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of tasks that they accomplish in the Mena AR health care facilities where they practice. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. Although they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the guidance 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 encounter patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their everyday work activities might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work duties being regulated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Mena AR healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in Arkansas
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become an LPN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN Programs Online
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Mena AR. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges near Mena AR as well as within Arkansas and throughout the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Mena AR.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Mena 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Mena AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Mena AR community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Mena Arkansas?
Mena was founded by Arthur Edward Stilwell during the building of the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad (now the Kansas City Southern), which stretched from Kansas City, Missouri to Port Arthur, Texas. Train service to Mena began in 1896.
Stilwell named the town in honor of Folmina Margaretha Janssen-De Goeijen, the wife of his friend and financier Jan De Goeijen, whom Mr. De Goeijen affectionately called Mena. Janssen Park in the center of Mena is also named for her.
In 1901, a black man, Peter Berryman, was lynched after an alleged altercation with a white girl. No one was arrested for the crime. Several other instances of racially motivated hate and violence towards Mena's black community had been noted. This, combined with declining job prospects after the railway shops left town, led many blacks to leave Mena. By 1910, just 16 remained.
The Mena Star advertised the town as being "100% white" in its March 18, 1920 edition, and a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan was organized in 1922. In 1927, the Mena Commercial Club created advertisements which stated that Mena, in addition to having "pure soft water" and "beautiful scenery", also had "no Negroes".
Choose the Right LPN School near Mena AR
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Mena AR.
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