How to Select an LPN School near North Little Rock Arkansas
Now that you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near North Little Rock AR that will provide the right 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, aside from 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. But their functions do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next section. When beginning their search for LPN schools, many prospective nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least costly. Even though cost and location are significant considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN in North Little Rock AR?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they perform in the North Little Rock AR health care facilities where they are employed. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. While they may be accountable for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients in need of medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day work activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job duties being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other North Little Rock AR healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in Arkansas
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become an LPN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in North Little Rock AR. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near North Little Rock AR as well as within Arkansas and throughout the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the price 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 only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near North Little Rock AR.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 call some nearby North Little Rock 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 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the North Little Rock AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local North Little Rock AR community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in North Little Rock Arkansas?
North Little Rock, Arkansas
North Little Rock is a city in Pulaski County, Arkansas, United States, across the Arkansas River from Little Rock in the central part of the state. The population was 62,304 at the 2010 census. North Little Rock, along with Little Rock and Conway, anchors the six-county Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area (2014 population 729,135), which is further included in the Little Rock-North Little Rock Combined Statistical Area with 902,443 residents.
The city's downtown is anchored in the Argenta Historic District, which draws its name from the original name of the city; the area includes Dickey-Stephens Park, the current home of the Arkansas Travelers minor league baseball team, and Verizon Arena, the metropolitan area's main entertainment venue. Farther west in the city is Burns Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the United States.
North Little Rock has a long history, dating back to the Burial Mound People. It was once known as Argenta, a name that currently applies specifically to downtown North Little Rock. In 1890, Little Rock annexed the unincorporated Argenta community as its Eighth Ward, preempting a competing petition to incorporate Argenta. A neighboring area was incorporated as the Town of North Little Rock in 1901 as part of a plan to reclaim the Eighth Ward from Little Rock. By 1904, the Arkansas Supreme Court allowed the town to annex the Eighth Ward; the modern City of North Little Rock considers this its founding date. The combined city adopted the Argenta name by 1906, but reverted to North Little Rock in October 1917. A remnant of the city's earliest years can be found in North Little Rock City Hall (constructed in 1914), which still contains plaques referring to "Argenta", and contains "C of A" (City of Argenta) ornamental designs.
North Little Rock is also the eastern terminus of Interstate 30 and southern terminus of the Arkansas-designated portion of Interstate 57. Interstate 40, US 65, US 67, and US 167 all run through the city.
Pick the Right LPN Program near North Little Rock AR
Choosing the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN in North Little Rock AR.
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