How to Choose a Nursing School near Bald Knob Arkansas
Choosing the right nursing program near Bald Knob AR may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Bald Knob AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Bald Knob AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Bald Knob AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Bald Knob AR or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Bald Knob AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Bald Knob AR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Bald Knob AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Bald Knob AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some Bald Knob AR students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Bald Knob AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Bald Knob Arkansas area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Bald Knob, Arkansas
Bald Knob is a city in White County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 2,897 at the 2010 census. Located at the intersection of two of the state's natural regions, Bald Knob is often promoted as "where the Ozarks meet the Delta". Bald Knob is also a leading strawberry producer in the state, known for its yearly Strawberry Fest held during Mother's Day weekend. It was once known as the leading strawberry producer in the world. Bald Knob was established in 1881.
One point of interest in Bald Knob is Arkansas Traveler Hobbies, which is housed in the old Missouri Pacific Railroad depot at 400 E. Market Street. Antique passenger cars and an antique caboose are housed on the grounds and currently being restored. The hobby shop also houses a museum, which chronicles the history of Bald Knob, the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and White County. Another attraction is the historic Knob Field, just east of the Big Bald Knob Park.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,210 people, 1,257 households, and 878 families residing in the city. The population density was 715.5 people per square mile (276.0/km²). There were 1,395 housing units at an average density of 311.0 per square mile (120.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.91% White, 6.07% Black or African American, 0.62% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.21% from other races, and 1.56% from two or more races. 3.18% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Bald Knob AR
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Bald Knob AR.
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