How to Find the Right Nursing College near Crossett Arkansas
Searching for the right nursing college near Crossett AR may seem like a complex project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Crossett AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Crossett AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Crossett AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Crossett AR or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Crossett AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified 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 provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Crossett 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Crossett AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Crossett AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Crossett AR students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Crossett AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Crossett 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.
Crossett is the largest city in Ashley County, Arkansas, United States, with a population of 5,507, according to 2010 Census Bureau estimates. Combined with North Crossett and West Crossett, the population is 10,752. Crossett was incorporated in 1903.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,097 people, 2,418 households, and 1,745 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,045.2 people per square mile (403.8/km²). There were 2,663 housing units at an average density of 456.5 per square mile (176.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 59.50% White, 39.02% Black or African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.64% from two or more races. 1.10% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,418 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.4% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.96.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Crossett AR
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Crossett AR.
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