How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Arcadia Louisiana
Locating the right nursing college near Arcadia LA may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive 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 thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Arcadia LA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level 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 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 in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Arcadia LA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 might desire to progress 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Louisiana board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive 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 Louisiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly 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 attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Arcadia LA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 minimum period 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 Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates 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
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Arcadia LA or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Louisiana and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Arcadia LA 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Louisiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Arcadia LA 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 looking at 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Arcadia LA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Arcadia LA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many Arcadia LA students. Concerning 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 minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Arcadia LA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Arcadia Louisiana 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.
Arcadia is a town in and the parish seat of Bienville Parish in north Louisiana, United States. The population was 2,919 at the 2010 census. Arcadia has the highest elevation of any town in Louisiana.
In 1934, Bonnie and Clyde were sought throughout the Southeast for their robbing banks and associated crimes. They were killed near Arcadia by law-enforcement officers from Bienville Parish and Dallas County, Texas. Their bodies were brought for embalming to the former Conger Funeral Home in Arcadia. As word of the killing of the outlaws spread, large crowds of onlookers were drawn to the funeral home, which was also a furniture store. The owner's wife, Inez Conger, grew so angry at the many gawkers standing on the store's tables and chairs to try to get a look at the bodies, that she began splashing formaldehyde around the store in an attempt to drive the crowds away. The bodies were sent to Dallas for separate funerals and interments. The ambush occurred southwest of Arcadia on Louisiana State Highway 154 between Gibsland and Sailes. Gibsland has been a destination for tourism associated with Bonnie and Clyde. L.J. "Boots" Hinton, son of posse member Ted Hinton, operates the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum.
Arcadia has been a center of the poultry industry, with up to 300 independent growers for years supplying the feed mill of Pilgrim's Pride, a poultry company, in Arcadia. In 2009 the company announced the closing of the mill and ending of other operations in nearby Athens in Claiborne Parish, Choudrant in Lincoln Parish, and Farmerville in Union Parish. The closings were estimated to cost North Louisiana a combined 1,300 jobs. Several weeks later, Pilgrim's Pride accepted an $80 million offer from Foster Farms of California to purchase their operations. In addition to the 1,300 direct jobs, mostly in Farmerville, the purchase provides a continuing market for some 300 growers. Foster Farms put up $40 million and the State of Louisiana a matching $40 million. Foster Farms will invest $10 million in capital improvements at the Farmerville plant, to be matched by the state, in an agreement announced by Governor Bobby Jindal.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Arcadia LA
Selecting the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Arcadia LA.
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