How to Select an LPN School near Rapid City South Dakota
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling career in the field of nursing, it’s important that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program near Rapid City SD that will deliver the necessary 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, except for the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both carry out the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. But their responsibilities do differ depending on the state they practice in, which we will cover in the next segment. When initiating their search for LPN schools, many prospective nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their residences or that are the least expensive. Although price and location are relevant factors, they are not the only criteria that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for instance if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask prospective 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 function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
What is an LPN in Rapid City SD?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they perform in the Rapid City SD healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles imply, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including South Dakota. Even though they may be responsible for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves usually work under the oversight 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. Anywhere that you can encounter patients requiring medical assistance is their dominion. Every state not only regulates their licensing, but also what duties an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job activities can include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Giving medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Managing patient records
- Helping doctors or RNs with procedures
Along with their work duties being controlled by each state, the medical facilities or other Rapid City SD healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, which include long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs in South Dakota
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become an LPN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN Programs Online
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in Rapid City SD. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. 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 classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online LPN school 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 internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near Rapid City SD as well as within South Dakota and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Rapid City 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) together with 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the South Dakota school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Rapid City 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Rapid City SD medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Rapid City SD community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Considering LPN School in Rapid City South Dakota?
Rapid City, South Dakota
Rapid City (Lakota: Mni Lúzahaŋ Otȟúŋwahe; "Swift Water City") is the second most populous city in South Dakota and the county seat of Pennington County. Named after Rapid Creek, on which the city is established, it is set against the eastern slope of the Black Hills mountain range. The population was 67,956 as of the 2010 Census.
Known as the "Gateway to the Black Hills" and the "City of Presidents", it is split by a low mountain ridge that divides the western and eastern parts of the city. Ellsworth Air Force Base is located on the outskirts of the city. Camp Rapid, a part of the South Dakota Army National Guard, is located in the western part of the city. The historic "Old West" town of Deadwood is nearby. In the neighboring Black Hills are the popular tourist attractions of Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, and Wind Cave National Park.
The public discovery of gold in 1874 by the Black Hills Expedition brought a mass influx of settlers into the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Rapid City was founded, and originally known as "Hay Camp", in 1876 by a group of disappointed miners, who promoted their new city as the "Gateway to the Black Hills". John Richard Brennan and Samuel Scott, with a small group of men, laid out the site of the present Rapid City in February 1876, which was named for the spring-fed Rapid Creek that flows through it. A square mile was measured off and the six blocks in the center were designated as a business section. Committees were appointed to bring in prospective merchants and their families to locate in the new settlement. The city soon began selling supplies to miners and pioneers. Its location on the edge of the Plains and Hills and its large river valley made it the natural hub of railroads arriving in the late 1880s from both the south and east. By 1900, Rapid City had survived a boom and bust and was establishing itself as an important regional trade center for the upper midwest.
Although the Black Hills became a popular tourist destination in the late 1890s, it was a combination of local efforts, the popularity of the automobile, and construction of improved highways that brought tourists to the Black Hills in large numbers after World War I. Gutzon Borglum, already a famous sculptor, began work on Mount Rushmore in 1927 and his son, Lincoln Borglum, continued the carving of the presidents' faces in rock following his father's death in 1941. The work was halted due to pressures leading to the US entry into World War II and the massive sculpture was declared complete in 1941. Although tourism sustained the city throughout the Great Depression of the 1930s, the gasoline rationing of World War II had a devastating effect on the tourist industry in the town, but this was more than made up for by the war-related growth.
Choose the Right LPN Program near Rapid City SD
Deciding on the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in Rapid City SD.
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