How to Select a Nursing Program near Winslow Arkansas
Choosing the best nursing program near Winslow AR may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Winslow AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Winslow AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies 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 later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Winslow AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Winslow AR or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Winslow AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Some 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 enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements 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 organizations 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 call some Winslow AR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Winslow AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Winslow AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Winslow AR students. Pertaining to 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 may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Winslow AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Winslow 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.
Winslow (formerly Summit Home) is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 391 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Area.
A stagecoach stop for many years, the community now known as Winslow first received a post office on December 11, 1876, known as Summit Home. The town grew significantly upon completion of the Winslow Tunnel, which allowed the St. Louis – San Francisco Railway (Frisco) to run through the steep Boston Mountains of south Washington County. The town was renamed to Winslow on August 3, 1881 in honor of Edward F. Winslow, president of the Frisco Railroad. The town became a somewhat resort town for its picturesque peaks at the end of the 19th century, drawing many wealthy from the Fort Smith area to summer there. It was incorporated on February 17, 1905.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), all land. Winslow is 12 miles (19 km) east of Devil's Den State Park, along Arkansas Highway 74.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Winslow AR
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Winslow AR.
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