How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Nashville Arkansas
Choosing the best nursing college near Nashville AR may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Nashville AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Nashville AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Nashville AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Nashville AR or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Nashville AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Nashville AR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Nashville AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Nashville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Nashville AR students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Nashville AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Nashville 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.
Nashville is a city in Howard County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 4,627 at the 2010 census. The estimated population in 2015 was 4,479. The city is the county seat of Howard County.
Nashville is situated at the base of the Ouachita foothills and was once a major center of the peach trade in southwest Arkansas. Today the land is mostly given over to cattle and chicken farming. The world's largest dinosaur trackway was discovered near the town in 1983.
Mine Creek Baptist Church was built along the banks of Mine Creek by the Rev. Isaac Cooper Perkins (1790–1852) in the area where Nashville now stands around 1835. Settlers later established a post stop along the settlement roads in 1840,:902–903 and a post office incorporated in 1848. Michael Womack (1794–1861), a Tennessee native reputed to have killed the British general Edward Packenham during the War of 1812, settled in the area with his family in 1849. The area was then known by locals as "Mine Creek", but was also called "Hell's Valley" and "Pleasant Valley".
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Nashville AR
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Nashville AR.
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