How to Select a Nursing Program near Norman Arkansas
Searching for the right nursing program near Norman AR may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing school. There are a number of key additional things to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different Norman AR medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And 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 continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Norman AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced 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 qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component 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 balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Norman AR students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more 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. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Norman 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 workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Norman AR, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, 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 satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- 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 also. Also, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Norman 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Norman AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Norman AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Norman AR?
There is a Caddo Native American burial ground on the southern end of town. It was discovered by city officials, led by then mayor Duane Cox, who protected it with a wooden fence. Recently, descendents of the Caddo added to the site a footpath and benches as well as plaques containing historical information regarding the living habits of Native Americans.
As of the census of 2000, there were 423 people, 190 households, and 117 families residing in the town. The population density was 140.8/km² (364.8/mi²). There were 224 housing units at an average density of 74.6/km² (193.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.56% White, 1.42% Native American, 0.95% Asian, 0.95% from other races, and 2.13% from two or more races. 2.84% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 190 households out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.84.
Choose the Right RN School near Norman AR
Selecting the right registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Norman AR.
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