How to Select a Nursing School near Sherwood Arkansas
Selecting the best nursing school near Sherwood AR may seem like a challenging project, 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 to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing college. There are many essential additional things to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Sherwood AR medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating 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 high level 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Sherwood AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally 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 may 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Sherwood AR students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Sherwood AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans in Sherwood AR, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, 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 readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Sherwood 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Sherwood AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Sherwood AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Sherwood AR?
Sherwood is a city in Pulaski County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 29,523. It is part of the Little Rock−North Little Rock−Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area with 699,757 people according to the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.8 square miles (54.0 km2), of which 20.6 square miles (53.4 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2), or 1.15%, is water.
Sherwood lies in the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen Cfa). Sherwood experiences all four seasons and does receive cold air masses from the north. July is the hottest month of the year, with an average high of 92 °F (33 °C) and an average low of 73 °F (23 °C). Temperatures above 100 °F (37.8 °C) are somewhat common. January is the coldest month with an average high of 50 °F (10 °C) and an average low of 33 °F (1 °C). The city's highest temperature was 110 °F (43.3 °C), recorded in July 1986. The lowest temperature recorded was −6 °F (−21.1 °C), in January 1985.
Choose the Right RN School near Sherwood AR
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Sherwood AR.
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