How to Pick an LPN Program near Harrisburg South Dakota
Once you have decided on a rewarding career in the field of nursing, it’s essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Harrisburg SD that will furnish the appropriate training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be searching for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both perform 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 address in the next section. When starting their search for LPN schools, many potential nursing students begin with those that are the nearest to their houses or that are the least costly. While cost and location are important considerations, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your selection on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are even more questions that you should ask prospective schools before enrolling in an LPN program that we will cover later in this article. But to start with, let’s take a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the education and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Harrisburg SD?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they perform in the Harrisburg SD healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are required to be licensed in all states, including South Dakota. While they may be accountable for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can encounter patients in need of medical attention is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job functions might include:
- Checking vital signs
- Administering medications
- Starting IV drips
- Observing patients
- Getting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their job duties being governed by each state, the healthcare facilities or other Harrisburg SD healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job duties within those parameters. In addition, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in South Dakota
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, 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 guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Harrisburg SD. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some 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 easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask LPN Programs
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Harrisburg 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 mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Harrisburg SD.
- 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) as well as 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 important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the South Dakota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Harrisburg SD 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 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 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 Harrisburg SD medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Harrisburg SD community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Harrisburg South Dakota?
Harrisburg, South Dakota
Harrisburg is a city in Lincoln County, South Dakota, United States and is a suburb of Sioux Falls. The population was 4,089 by the 2010 census, having grown from 958 in 2000 census. The population of the Harrisburg zip code has grown from 2,476 in 2000 to 10,342 in 2010.
Before the railroad was built through Lincoln County, a stagecoach brought mail to the Johnson Harris Homestead located on Nine Mile Creek in Dayton Township. Johnson Harris named the post office Harrisburg in honor of himself.
The history of Harrisburg started August 1, 1879, when the first train came rolling through the territory. The train went from Sioux City, Iowa, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The post office was moved to the Emory J. Darling Homestead, 1 mile south of what is now Harrisburg. The post office was called Salina in honor of Mrs. Jim Stillwell, an early settler and a highly respected teacher.
One of the many early businesses in Harrisburg was the State Bank circa 1901-1945. The bank's building is still located in its original spot at 101 Railroad Ave. The bank itself was built in 1899 and completely restored in 2006 by its current owner RISE, Inc. is a construction management/structural engineering firm.
Choose the Right LPN School near Harrisburg SD
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Harrisburg SD.
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