How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Harrisburg Arkansas
Selecting the best nursing college near Harrisburg AR may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regretably, too many prospective students base their determination 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 house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing school. There are several essential additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Harrisburg AR medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Harrisburg AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending 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 balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Harrisburg AR students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Harrisburg AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see 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 receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Harrisburg AR, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending 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 working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Harrisburg AR 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 colleges you are looking at 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Harrisburg AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Harrisburg AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Harrisburg AR?
Harrisburg is a city in Poinsett County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 2,288 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Jonesboro, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is the county seat of Poinsett County.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,192 people, 855 households, and 582 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,050.4 people per square mile (404.9/km²). There were 928 housing units at an average density of 444.7/sq mi (171.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.66% White, 1.24% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.87% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. 1.51% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race and 00.01% Other.
There were 855 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.84.
Choose the Right RN School near Harrisburg AR
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Harrisburg AR.
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