How to Choose a Nursing College near Pea Ridge Arkansas
Finding the best nursing program near Pea Ridge AR may feel like a complex project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional factors to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job 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 most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Pea Ridge AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Pea Ridge AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 type of credential you pursue, it should be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Pea Ridge AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also 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 sure that the education 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 may be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Pea Ridge AR or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Pea Ridge 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) along with 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 satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Pea Ridge 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 schools 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Pea Ridge AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Pea Ridge AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many Pea Ridge AR students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Pea Ridge AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Pea Ridge 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.
Pea Ridge, Arkansas
Pea Ridge is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The name Pea Ridge is derived from a combination of the physical location of the original settlement of the town, across the crest of an Ozark Mountains ridge, and for the hog peanuts or turkey peas that had been originally cultivated by Native American tribes centuries before European settlement, which later helped to provide basic subsistence once those pioneer settlers arrived.
The rural town is best known as the location of the pivotal American Civil War engagement the Battle of Pea Ridge, or, as it is locally known, the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern, which took place approximately 5 miles (8 km) east of the town. The site of the battle is preserved as the Pea Ridge National Military Park.
The town's downtown business district is on the National Register of Historic Places and largely comprises commercial structures from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The population of Pea Ridge was 4,794 at the 2010 census, which was a 104.3 percent increase over the 2000 census number of 2,346. It is part of the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers, AR-MO Metropolitan Statistical Area. The local weekly newspaper is the Times of Northeast Benton County.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Pea Ridge AR
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Pea Ridge AR.
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