Today is send-off day for the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) students. “Thirty-eight LPN students have worked diligently all summer in the classroom and simulation labs and will begin clinical practice at local nursing homes and hospitals in Texarkana, Hope, Prescott, and Magnolia today,” according to Cyndi Graham, Director of the LPN program.
“The UofA Hope-Texarkana LPN program is among the best at preparing students to care for patients and to pass their licensure exam with 91.6% of the class passing this year,” said Graham. “The program is also among the highest in retention rates with 75% of the students finishing the program and of the thirty-three 2015 LPN graduates, thirty-two of them are working as licensed nurses.”
Graham said, “Teaching in the program is a humbling experience because for many this will be the road out of poverty. When they become an LPN they become professionals, not only do they leave with a degree, they leave saying ‘I’m a nurse’.”
The LPN program is a full-time, 11 month, selective admission program leading to a Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing. It prepares students for licensure through the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-PN). The program meets the requirements for accreditation by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.
Licensed practical nurses work in many settings, including nursing homes and extended care facilities, hospitals, physicians’ offices, and private homes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is projected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the baby-boom population ages, the overall need for healthcare services is expected to increase. LPN’s and LVN’s will be needed in residential care facilities and in home health environments to care for older patients.”