How to Find the Right Nursing College near Bentonville Arkansas
Locating the best nursing school near Bentonville AR may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Bentonville AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Bentonville AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Bentonville AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. 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 requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Bentonville AR or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Bentonville AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bentonville AR 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 RN colleges you are considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Bentonville AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Bentonville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many Bentonville AR students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with limited 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 Bentonville AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Bentonville 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.
Bentonville is the ninth-largest city in Arkansas, United States and the county seat of Benton County. The city is centrally located in the county with Rogers adjacent to the east. The city is the birthplace and world headquarters of Walmart, the world's largest retailer. It is one of the four main cities in the four-county Northwest Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is ranked 109th in terms of population in the United States with 463,204 residents in 2010, according to the United States Census Bureau. The city itself had a population of 35,301 at the 2010 Census, with an estimated population of 49,298 in 2017.
The area now known as Bentonville's first known use by humans was as hunting grounds by the Osage Nation who lived in Missouri. The Osage would leave their settlements to hunt in present-day Benton County for months at a time before returning to their families. White settlers first inhabited the area around 1837 and named their settlement "Osage". By this time, the Osage had ceased using the area for hunting, and the white settlers began to establish farms. Upon establishment of Benton County on September 30, 1836, Osage was deemed a suitable site for the county seat, and the town square was established as the home of county government the following year. Osage was renamed Bentonville in honor of Thomas Hart Benton, a senator from Missouri who strongly supported Arkansas statehood.
Two years after Arkansas received statehood in 1836, thousands of Cherokee people from Georgia passed through Benton County as part of the Trail of Tears route to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. Although no Civil War battles were fought inside Bentonville, the city was occupied by both armies and saw almost all of its buildings burned, either by opposing armies or guerrilla outlaws. Bentonville was a staging point for the Confederate army prior to the Battle of Pea Ridge, fought about 12 miles (19 km) northeast of town, and the town saw a brief skirmish just prior to the battle. The city began to rebuild about a decade after incorporation on April 3, 1873, with many of these Reconstruction Era buildings today serving as the oldest structures in Bentonville.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Bentonville AR
Choosing the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Bentonville AR.
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