How to Select an LPN Program near Ozark Arkansas
Now that you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Ozark AR that will deliver the appropriate education. If you reside 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. But their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the following section. When starting their search for LPN schools, many prospective nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least expensive. Even though cost and location are important factors, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision 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 even more questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will discuss later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the role of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Ozark AR?
Licensed Practical Nurses have a number of duties that they accomplish in the Ozark AR health facilities where they work. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. While they may be responsible for supervising Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for instance hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only controls their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their daily work functions can include:
- Checking vital signs
- Giving medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Helping physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their occupational duties being mandated by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Ozark AR healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in Arkansas
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Ozark AR. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy 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 internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Ozark AR as well as within Arkansas and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Ozark AR.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, 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 Ozark 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Ozark AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Ozark AR community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Ozark Arkansas?
Ozark is a city in Franklin County, Arkansas, United States and one of the county's two seats of government. The community is located along the Arkansas River in the Arkansas River Valley on the southern edge of the Ozark Mountains. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 3,684.
Incorporated in 1850, Ozark is adjacent to much of Arkansas wine country, and contains a bridge to cross the Arkansas River for travelers heading to points south. The city is also located on Arkansas Highway 23, nicknamed the Pig Trail Scenic Byway, known for its steep drops, sharp curves and scenic mountain views. The city is contained within the Fort Smith metropolitan area.
Native Americans roamed the area freely before Arkansas was a territory. The Cherokee and Osage lived in this area that would later become attractive to settlers. The Ozark area was frequented by French fur trappers and served as a landmark during European exploration of the area. It was these adventurous souls who gave the area and the rolling mountains that rise there their name, Aux Arcs.
Included in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the vicinity became a stopping and crossing point along the Arkansas River. The modern settlement of Ozark was established here in the 1830s, and an important road grew connecting Ozark to Fayetteville, Arkansas, following the route of today's Pig Trail Scenic Byway to connect Northwest Arkansas with the river.
Select the Right LPN Program near Ozark AR
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Ozark AR.
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