How to Choose a Nursing School in Bay Arkansas
Selecting the right nursing school near Bay AR may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional things to investigate 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 medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Bay AR medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Bay AR, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Bay AR. 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 continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Bay AR or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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 vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bay AR. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bay AR area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Arkansas to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Arkansas. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Bay AR home, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Bay AR and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Bay AR.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Bay AR area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations 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 check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Bay 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 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Bay AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Bay AR area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near Bay AR
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Bay AR.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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