How to Select a Nursing Program near Fayetteville Arkansas
Locating the right nursing program near Fayetteville AR may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different Fayetteville AR medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Fayetteville AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Arkansas 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 may desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many Fayetteville AR students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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 household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Fayetteville AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Fayetteville AR, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Fayetteville 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 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 favorable reputation within the Fayetteville AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Fayetteville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Fayetteville AR?
Fayetteville is the third-largest city in Arkansas and county seat of Washington County. The city is centrally located within the county and has been home of the University of Arkansas since the institution's founding in 1871. Fayetteville is on the outskirts of the Boston Mountains, deep within the Ozarks. Known as Washington until 1829, the city was named after Fayetteville, Tennessee, from which many of the settlers had come. It was incorporated on November 3, 1836 and was rechartered in 1867. The four-county Northwest Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area is ranked 105th in terms of population in the United States with 463,204 in 2010 according to the United States Census Bureau. The city had a population of 73,580 at the 2010 Census. At 1,400 feet of elevation, it is also one of the highest major US cities between the western Great Plains and the Appalachian Mountains.
Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas, the state's largest university. When classes are in session, thousands of students on campus dramatically change the city's demographics. Thousands of Arkansas Razorbacks alumni and fans travel to Fayetteville to attend football, basketball, and baseball games. The University's men's track and field program has won 41 national championships to date. Fayetteville was named the third best place to live in the United States in the 2016 U.S. News Best Places To Live Rankings, and one of the best places to retire in the South.Forbes also ranked Fayetteville as the 24th-best city for business and careers in 2016. Lonely Planet named Fayetteville among its top 20 places to visit in the South in 2016. The city hosts the Walmart Shareholders Meetings each year at the Bud Walton Arena.
In 1828, George McGarrah settled at Big Spring with his family on the modern day corner of Spring and Willow, founding the town of Washington, and starting work on the courthouse. On October 17, Washington County was established, Washington chosen as the county seat. The Washington Courthouse was finished in 1829, and also contained the post office. Later in the year Postmaster Larkin Newton changed the name to the Fayetteville Courthouse, to avoid confusing with Washington, Hempstead County. Two councilmen selected to name the city were from Fayetteville, Tennessee, which was itself named for Fayetteville, North Carolina (where some of its earliest residents had lived before moving to Tennessee). That original Fayetteville was named for General Lafayette, a French general who helped the colonies gain independence in the American Revolutionary War.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Fayetteville AR
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, 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 using our checklist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Fayetteville AR.
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