How to Pick the Right LPN College near Mena Arkansas
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become an LPN near Mena AR. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable 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 guarantees 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.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many tasks that they perform in the Mena AR health facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. Although they may be accountable for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Each state not only controls their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their routine job functions might include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational duties being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other Mena AR healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can practice in different specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs Online
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Mena AR. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) was $45,030 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,970, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $61,030. Most licensed practical nurses near Mena AR work full time, although about 1 in 5 worked part time in 2016. Many work nights, weekends, and holidays, because medical care takes place at all hours. They may be required to work shifts of longer than 8 hours. Employment of LPNs is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026. Job prospects should be favorable for LPNs who are willing to work in rural and medically under served areas.
Things to Ask LPN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Mena AR as well as within Arkansas and throughout the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. 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 pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby 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 schools 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Mena AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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 as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Mena AR community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Mena AR?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Mena AR, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
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.
Mena was settled in 1896 and incorporated on September 18 of that year. In 1897, the Bank of Mena was founded. The following year, the county seat was moved from nearby Dallas to Mena. Mena's population had grown to 3,423 by 1900. The main industries of the area were timber, agriculture and mineral extraction, though it was advertised as a spa city located within a healthy environment. Stilwell donated land to the city in 1906, and a park and campground were constructed. In 1910, the railroad moved its shop facilities from Mena to Heavener, Oklahoma. This created a loss of eight hundred jobs. A private school in Mena, Hendrix Academy, closed in 1905.
Pick the Right LPN School near Mena AR
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in LPN Program. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick 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 a Licensed Practical Nurse in Mena AR.
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