How to Find the Right Nursing College near Morrilton Arkansas
Searching for the right nursing program near Morrilton AR may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing school. There are many important additional things to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Morrilton AR medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered 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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Morrilton AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some Morrilton AR students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Morrilton AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Morrilton AR, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Morrilton 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 schools 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 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 Morrilton AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Morrilton AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Morrilton AR?
Morrilton is a city in Conway County, Arkansas, United States, less than 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Little Rock. The city is the county seat of Conway County. The population was 6,767 at the 2010 census.
Morrilton was incorporated on November 24, 1879, and is named after landowners E.J. and George H. Morrill. Most of the downtown area is built on the farm adjacent to the Morrills formerly owned by James M. Moose.
The city was home to Harding College, now Harding University of Searcy, Arkansas, for about a decade in the 1920s and 1930s. The original campus of Harding University is now the Southern Christian Home, a church-supported residential child care facility.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Morrilton AR
Selecting the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Morrilton AR.
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