How to Choose a Nursing College near Dumas Arkansas
Finding the right nursing college near Dumas AR may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing school. There are many important additional factors to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Dumas AR medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Dumas AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain 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 Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after achieving 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 acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Dumas AR students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Dumas AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Dumas AR, which are oftentimes not offered 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. 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 enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Dumas AR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Dumas AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Dumas AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Dumas AR?
Dumas is located in northwestern Desha County at 33°53′12″N 91°29′19″W / 33.88667°N 91.48861°W / 33.88667; -91.48861 (33.886626, -91.488544). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.4 km2), all land. The city is located in the Delta Lowlands sub-region of the Arkansas Delta, producing a topography which is largely flat.
The climate in the area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Dumas has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,238 people, 1,977 households, and 1,399 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,768.0 people per square mile (683.2/km²). There were 2,177 housing units at an average density of 734.8 per square mile (284.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 26.62% White, 70.02% Black or African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 2.00% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 3.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Right RN School near Dumas AR
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick 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 RN in Dumas AR.
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