How to Pick a Nursing College near Gentry Arkansas
Choosing the right nursing college near Gentry AR may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing school. There are many crucial additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different Gentry AR medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 to choose from 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 just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Gentry AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares 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 subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Gentry AR students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Gentry AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Gentry AR, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Gentry 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 programs 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Gentry AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Gentry AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Gentry AR?
Gentry is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 3,158 at the 2010 census. The city was founded in the Ozark Mountains in 1894 along what would become the Kansas City Southern Railroad. The city's prior prosperity in the orchard industry, especially apples, was further strengthened by the rail connection. Following the decline of the apple industry in the 1930s, Gentry shifted its economy towards poultry along with many other areas of northwest Arkansas. Today, Gentry is located within the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Area. Gentry is known for the Wild Wilderness Drive-Through Safari, located 2 miles (3 km) north of the city limits.
Gentry began as a rural Ozark agricultural community named Orchard City. Located in western Benton County, it was known for its apple orchards and other produce. The town began to grow when the Kansas City Southern Railroad was constructed through the town. In 1894, residents of the community petitioned the county to officially incorporate, and the city's name was changed to Gentry, after an official in charge of the construction of the railroad.
The railroad company built a new depot in Gentry in 1926-1927. It was known as one of the nicest depots on the railway line. A banquet was held for the grand opening, and railway officials arrived on a special train to commemorate the event. Four to six passenger trains a week came through Gentry until passenger service was discontinued in 1964.
Pick the Right RN College near Gentry AR
Picking the right registered nursing college is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Gentry AR.
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