How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Sheridan Arkansas
Finding the right nursing program near Sheridan AR may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regretably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing college. There are various important additional things to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Sheridan AR medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, 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:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Sheridan AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Sheridan 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 economical. 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 job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Sheridan AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Sheridan AR, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Sheridan 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Sheridan AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Sheridan AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Sheridan AR?
Sheridan is a city and county seat of Grant County, Arkansas, United States. The community is located deep in the forests of the Arkansas Timberlands. It sits at the intersection of US Highways 167 and 270. Early settlers were drawn to the area by the native timber, which is still a very important part of Sheridan's economy, although the city has diversified into several other industries. Sheridan's history also includes a college, Missionary Baptist College, until its closure in 1934, and a series of conflicts during the Civil Rights Movement. Located at the southern end of the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area, Sheridan has been experiencing a population boom in recent years, as indicated by a 49% growth in population between the 1990 and 2010 censuses. The population as of the 2010 census was 4,603.
From 1917 to 1934, Missionary Baptist College operated in Sheridan. The college suffered from financial troubles due to the Great Depression. The college provided local residents with courses, not only in theology, but in Latin, Greek, physiology, ecclesiology, and expression. A 1920 bulletin issued by the college wrote that its goal was "to teach and emphasize the very principles for which the real Baptists of Arkansas stand and for which true Baptists have stood for almost nineteen centuries . . . this is no preacher manufacturing establishment [that] the Lord alone has the prerogative of calling men to preach the gospel." The revamped Missionary Baptist Seminary thereafter opened in Little Rock.
In 1943, Jewell Williams, a Jehovah's Witness, was convicted in the Mayor's Court for selling Bibles without a permit under Sheridan City Ord. No. 50. and fined $10. On a trial de novo, he obtained the same result. Williams joined other members of his faith and appealed similar convictions occurring across the state to the Arkansas Supreme Court in Berry v. City of Hope, challenging the city ordinance as unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The court agreed and held the ordinances unconstitutional.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Sheridan AR
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Sheridan AR.
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