How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Arkadelphia Arkansas
Locating the best nursing school near Arkadelphia AR may feel like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing school. There are many important additional considerations to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Arkadelphia AR medical settings, including 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 along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available 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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Arkadelphia AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Arkansas 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 may 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 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Arkadelphia AR students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Arkadelphia AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Arkadelphia AR, which are frequently not provided 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Arkadelphia AR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Arkadelphia AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Arkadelphia AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Arkadelphia AR?
Arkadelphia is a city in Clark County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,714. The city is the county seat of Clark County. It is situated at the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. Two universities, Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University, are located there. Arkadelphia was incorporated in 1857.
The site was settled in about 1809 by John Hemphill, operator of a nearby salt works, Arkansas's first industry. It was known as Blakelytown until 1839, when the settlement adopted the name Arkadelphia. Origin of the name "Arkadelphia" is uncertain. One possibility is that it was formed by combining Ark- from the state's name Arkansas and adelphia from the Greek meaning "brother/place".
Another explanation of the name is a combination of "adelphia" for place and "arc." Arkadelphia was once known as the "City of Rainbows", perhaps because the humid climate often resulted in rain.
Pick the Right RN Program near Arkadelphia AR
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you select 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Arkadelphia AR.
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