How to Pick the Right LPN College near Texarkana Arkansas
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become an LPN near Texarkana AR. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, 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 warrants that the syllabus 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 duties that they accomplish in the Texarkana AR medical facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arkansas. While they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare 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 encounter patients requiring medical care is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job activities may include:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their job functions being governed by each state, the health facilities or other Texarkana AR healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in numerous specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Texarkana AR. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic 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 Texarkana 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.
What to Ask LPN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Texarkana AR as well as within Arkansas and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Texarkana AR.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Texarkana AR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Texarkana AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Texarkana AR community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Texarkana AR?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Texarkana AR, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Texarkana is a city in Arkansas and the county seat of Miller County. The city is located across the state line from its twin city, Texarkana, Texas. The city was founded at a railroad intersection on December 8, 1873, and was incorporated in Arkansas on August 10, 1880. Texarkana (together with its Texas counterpart) is the principal city of the Texarkana metropolitan area, which is ranked 274th in terms of population in the United States with 150,098 in 2016 according to the United States Census Bureau.
Located within the Ark-La-Tex subregion of Southwest Arkansas, Texarkana is located in the Piney Woods, a oak-hickory forest atop the flat Gulf Coastal Plain. Texarkana's economy is driven by agriculture and the city's position as a crossroads of three major Interstate highways: Interstate 30 (I-30), I-49 and the future I-69. Outdoors tourism, such as fishing at Lake Millwood, are also important in the region. The Texarkana Arkansas School District is the largest public school district on the Arkansas side, leading to graduation from Arkansas High School. The city is home to Texarkana College (on the Texas side of town), and a branch campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope (UACCH).
Texarkana, Arkansas, is located at 33°25′59″N 94°1′14″W / 33.43306°N 94.02056°W / 33.43306; -94.02056 (33.433075, -94.020514). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.9 square miles (108.4 km2), of which 41.7 square miles (107.9 km2) is land and 0.19 square miles (0.5 km2) (0.43%) is water.
Pick the Right LPN School near Texarkana AR
Deciding on the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you enroll in an LPN college and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Licensed Practical Nurse Programs. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Texarkana AR.
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