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Career and Education Opportunities for Licensed Practical Nurses in Fort Smith, Arkansas

For those living in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area, there are many career and education opportunities for licensed practical nurses. There are currently 11,960 jobs for licensed practical nurses in Arkansas and this is projected to grow by 15% to about 13,710 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for licensed practical nurses are expected to grow by about 20.6%. In general, licensed practical nurses care for ill, injured, or disabled persons in hospitals, nursing homes, and similar institutions.

Income for licensed practical nurses is about $15 hourly or $32,610 yearly on average in Arkansas. Nationally, their income is about $18 per hour or $39,030 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Nursing, people working as licensed practical nurses in Arkansas earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Nursing nationally. Jobs in this field include: home health nurse, clinic licensed practical nurse , and nursing technician.

The Fort Smith area is home to nine schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can get a degree as a licensed practical nurse. Licensed practical nurses usually hold some college courses, so it will take a short time to learn to be a licensed practical nurse if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed Practical Nurse video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, licensed practical nurses care for ill, injured, or disabled persons in hospitals, nursing homes, and similar institutions. They also may work under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Licensed practical nurses furnish basic patient care and treatments, such as taking temperatures or blood pressures, dressing wounds, treating bedsores, giving enemas or douches, rubbing with alcohol or performing catheterizations. They also measure and record patients' vital signs. Equally important, licensed practical nurses have to observe patients, charting and reporting changes in patients' conditions, such as adverse reactions to medication or treatment, and taking any needed action. They are often called upon to assemble and use apparatus such as catheters and oxygen suppliers. They are expected to administer prescribed medications or start intravenous fluids, and note times and amounts on patients' charts. Finally, licensed practical nurses evaluate nursing intervention outcomes, conferring with other health care team members as needed.

Every day, licensed practical nurses are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for licensed practical nurses to help patients with bathing, dressing, maintaining personal hygiene, moving in bed, or standing and walking. They are often called upon to record food and fluid intake and output. They also inventory and requisition supplies and instruments. They are sometimes expected to sterilize apparatus and supplies, using germicides, sterilizer, or autoclave. Somewhat less frequently, licensed practical nurses are also expected to answer patients' calls and decide on how to help them.

Licensed practical nurses sometimes are asked to ready food trays and examine them for conformance to prescribed diet. They also have to be able to evaluate nursing intervention outcomes, conferring with other health care team members as needed and supervise nurses' aides and assistants. And finally, they sometimes have to work as part of a health care team to gauge patient needs, plan and modify care and implement interventions.

Like many other jobs, licensed practical nurses must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fort Smith include:

  • Dental Hygienist. Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.
  • Registered Nurse. Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required. Includes advance practice nurses such as: nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists. Advanced practice nursing is practiced by RNs who have specialized formal, post-basic education and who function in highly autonomous and specialized roles.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Licensed Practical Nurse Training

Kiamichi Technology Center-Poteau - Poteau, OK

Kiamichi Technology Center-Poteau, 1509 S McKenna, Poteau, OK 74953. Kiamichi Technology Center-Poteau is a small school located in Poteau, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 577 students. Kiamichi Technology Center-Poteau has a one to two year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith - Fort Smith, AR

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, 5210 Grand Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith is a medium sized university located in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,846 students and an admission rate of 62%. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith has a one to two year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

Indian Capital Technology Center-Sallisaw - Sallisaw, OK

Indian Capital Technology Center-Sallisaw, 401 Houser, Sallisaw, OK 74955. Indian Capital Technology Center-Sallisaw is a small school located in Sallisaw, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 231 students. Indian Capital Technology Center-Sallisaw has a one to two year program in Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurse Training which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: AACN Certification Corporation has launched the ACNPC, an advanced practice certification examination for Acute Care Nurse Practitioners.

For more information, see the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses website.

Certified Corrections Nurse: This category includes individuals who work with both staff and offenders in a correctional setting.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Corrections Nurse Manager: This category includes individuals who manage health care units or programs within a correctional setting.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Registered Central Service Technician: The Association's certification programs are the most highly recognized for quality and comprehensiveness within the healthcare industry.

For more information, see the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management website.

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant: An IBCLE or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is a specialist that has taken and.

For more information, see the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners website.

Long-Term Care: Long-Term Care certification is comprehensive in that it covers the entire life-span, from cradle to grave, for people that are chronically ill.

For more information, see the National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Service, Inc. website.

Pharmacology: NAPNES Certification in Pharmacology allows LP/VNs to measure their knowledge against a national test and offers a national credential, post-licensure, that many employers require.

For more information, see the National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Service, Inc. website.

IV Therapy: National studies show that specialized certification for LPNs is a great avenue for professional growth, helping to increase earning potential and marketability.

For more information, see the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, Inc. website.

Gerontology : National studies show that specialized certification for LPNs is a great avenue for professional growth, helping to increase earning potential and marketability.

For more information, see the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, Inc. website.

LICENSES

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Licensing agency: Arkansas State Board of Nursing
Address: University Tower Building, Suite 800, 1123 South University, Little Rock, AR 72204-1619

Phone: (501) 686-2700
Website: Arkansas State Board of Nursing

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas photo by Infrogmation

Fort Smith is located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 84,716, which has grown by 5.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Smith, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Smith are priced at $151,400 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Fort Smith, down from two hundred ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Smith are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is food, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 18.6% of Fort Smith residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Smith is 8.1%, which is greater than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Fort Smith residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 68.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Mallalieu United Methodist Church, Loves Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church and King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Smith. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Smith is home to the Fort Smith Trolly Museum and the Fort Smith Inter-Faith Community Center as well as Riverfront Park and Kay Rodgers Park. Shopping centers in the area include Laville Shopping Center, Maybranch Shopping Center and Midland Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Smith can choose from Patel P L, Westark Inn Motel and Stonewall Jackson Inn for temporary stays in the area.