How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Valley Springs Arkansas
Choosing the best nursing college near Valley Springs AR may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional factors to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Valley Springs AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees 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 as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Valley Springs AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps 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 afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering 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 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Valley Springs AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 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 may be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Valley Springs AR or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist 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 important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Valley Springs 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Valley Springs 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Valley Springs AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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 mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Valley Springs AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Valley Springs AR students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Valley Springs AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Valley Springs 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.
Valley Springs, Arkansas
As of the census of 2010, there were 175 people, 69 households, and 54 families residing in the town. The population density was 137.2/km² (352.0/mi²). There were 73 housing units at an average density of 60.0/km² (153.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.21% White, 1.20% Native American, 1.20% Asian, 0.60% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. 0.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 66 households out of which 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.6% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.2% were non-families. 16.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 2.85.
In the town, the population was spread out with 28.7% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Valley Springs AR
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Valley Springs AR.
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