How to Select a Nursing Program near Norfork Arkansas
Choosing the best nursing college near Norfork AR may feel like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Norfork AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact 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
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Norfork AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares 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 ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 may desire 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example 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) so as to become licensed. Additional 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 requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Norfork AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 period of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Norfork AR or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within 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 undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Norfork AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at 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 also. Additionally, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Norfork 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 colleges 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Norfork AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Norfork AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some Norfork AR students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Norfork AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Norfork 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.
Norfork is located at 36°12′34″N 92°16′54″W / 36.20944°N 92.28167°W / 36.20944; -92.28167 (36.209506, -92.281702). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), of which 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) (11.74%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, the population density was 221.5 people per square mile (85.7/km²). There were 283 housing units at an average density of 129.5 per square mile (50.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.07% White, 0.21% Black or African American, 1.50% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.41% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. 1.41% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 224 households out of which 17.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.5% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.65.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Norfork AR
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Norfork AR.
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