How to Choose a Nursing School near Magnolia Arkansas
Searching for the best nursing college near Magnolia AR may feel like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Magnolia AR hospitals, family 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 exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 normally 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 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 available in the Magnolia AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd 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 advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Magnolia AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to 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 Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Magnolia AR or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Magnolia 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. Certain 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 provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Magnolia 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Magnolia AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Magnolia AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Magnolia AR students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Magnolia AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Magnolia 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.
The city was founded in 1853. At the time of its incorporation in 1858, the city had a population of about 1,950. The city grew slowly as an agricultural and regional cotton market until the discovery of oil just east of the city in March 1938, with the Barnett #1 drilled by the Kerr-Lynn Company. The Magnolia Oil Field was an important discovery for the city as well as for the nation, as it was the largest producing field (in volume) during the early years of World War II, helping to sustain the American war effort.
Magnolia is located in southwest Arkansas, north of the center of Columbia County at 33°16′27″N 93°14′1″W / 33.27417°N 93.23361°W / 33.27417; -93.23361 (33.274052, -93.233477). The average altitude is 336 ft (102 m) above sea level according to NOAA. The surrounding region is a mix of dense forest, farm prairies, and low rolling hills.
The average temperature is 64 °F (18 °C), and the average annual rainfall is 50.3 inches (1,280 mm). The winters are mild but can dip into the teens at night and have highs in the 30s and even some 20s but average out around 50. The springs are warm and can be stormy with strong to severe storms and average highs in the mid 70s. Summers are often hot, humid and dry but with occasional isolated afternoon storms, highs in the mid to upper 90s and even 100s. In the fall the temps cool from the 90s and 100s to 80s and 70s. Early fall temps are usually in the 80s but can reach 90s and at times has reached 100. Late fall temps fall to 70s and 60s. It is not uncommon to see snow and ice during the winter. It has been known to snow a few times as late as April and as early as November in Magnolia.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Magnolia AR
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Magnolia AR.
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