How to Select a Nursing Program near Tontitown Arkansas
Choosing the best nursing college near Tontitown AR may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regretably, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing school. There are various crucial additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Tontitown AR medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Tontitown AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after obtaining 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, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some Tontitown AR students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Tontitown AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first 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 evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Tontitown AR, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Tontitown 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 programs you are looking at 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Tontitown AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Tontitown AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Tontitown AR?
Tontitown is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States. The community is located in the Ozark Mountains and was founded by Italian settlers in 1898. Known for its grapes and wines, Tontitown has hosted the Tontitown Grape Festival continuously since 1898. It is part of the Northwest Arkansas metropolitan area, serving as a bedroom community for larger neighbors Fayetteville and Springdale. The town experienced a 160% growth in population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
Led by Catholic priest Pietro Bandini, Italian settlers working on Lakeport Plantation in the Arkansas delta moved to northwest Arkansas and found the climate and terrain similar to their native Northern Italy. Tontitown was founded in 1898 and named for Italian explorer Henri de Tonti.
As of the census of 2000, there were 942 people, 351 households, and 273 families residing in the city. The population density was 134.2 people per square mile (51.8/km²). There were 368 housing units at an average density of 52.4/sq mi (20.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.28% White, 1.70% Native American, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.85% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. 2.23% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Right RN School near Tontitown AR
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Tontitown AR.
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