How to Select a Nursing College near Poplar Grove Arkansas
Choosing the right nursing college near Poplar Grove AR may seem like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea 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 vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional things to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Poplar Grove AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Poplar Grove AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 typically a two year program after acquiring 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 obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice 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, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 core curriculum 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 attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Poplar Grove AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. 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 requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Poplar Grove AR or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Poplar Grove AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Poplar Grove 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Poplar Grove AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Poplar Grove AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Poplar Grove AR students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue 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 Poplar Grove AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Poplar Grove 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.
Poplar Grove, Arkansas
The Barton–Lexa School District provides early childhood, elementary and secondary education to more than 800 students in prekindergarten through grade 12 in two schools. Students complete their studies at Barton High School.
Choose the Right Nursing College near Poplar Grove AR
Choosing the right registered nursing college is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 licensed registered nurse in Poplar Grove AR.
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