How to Pick an LPN School near Alexandria South Dakota
Once you have chosen a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s imperative that you select a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Alexandria SD that will provide the appropriate instruction. If you live 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 healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When beginning their search for LPN schools, many future nursing students start with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. Even though tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other concerns, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will cover later in this article. But first, let’s look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Alexandria SD?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they perform in the Alexandria SD medical facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including South Dakota. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the supervision of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients requiring medical treatment is their dominion. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday job functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medicines
- Starting IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting physicians or RNs with procedures
Along with their occupational responsibilities being mandated by each state, the health facilities or other Alexandria SD healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in South Dakota
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Online LPN Programs
Enrolling in LPN programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Alexandria SD. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Alexandria SD as well as within South Dakota and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Alexandria SD.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs differ 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the South Dakota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Alexandria SD 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 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 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 Alexandria SD healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Alexandria SD community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Alexandria South Dakota?
Alexandria, South Dakota
In 1879, the community was founded with the name Clarksville. Its post office was established in 1880, and the city later incorporated in 1885 as Alexandria. The city was named after Alexander Mitchell.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.62 square miles (1.61 km2), all of it land. Alexandria has been assigned the ZIP code 57311, and the FIPS place code 00820.
As of the census of 2010, there were 615 people, 231 households, and 171 families residing in the city. The population density was 991.9 inhabitants per square mile (383.0/km2). There were 249 housing units at an average density of 401.6 per square mile (155.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.5% White, 0.5% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 0.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.
There were 231 households of which 35.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.7% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 26.0% were non-families. 23.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.11.
Select the Right LPN Program near Alexandria SD
Selecting the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Alexandria SD.
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