How to Choose a Nursing Program near Pearcy Arkansas
Searching for the right nursing college near Pearcy AR may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing school. There are a number of essential additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different Pearcy AR medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Pearcy AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available 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 ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 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 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many Pearcy AR students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Pearcy AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Pearcy AR, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all 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 contact some Pearcy 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 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 Pearcy AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Pearcy AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Pearcy AR?
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Select the Right RN College near Pearcy AR
Selecting the right registered nursing program is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Pearcy AR.
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