How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Bigelow Arkansas
Searching for the best nursing program near Bigelow AR may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional aspects to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Bigelow AR medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Bigelow AR, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Bigelow AR. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies 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 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 typically a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Bigelow AR or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bigelow AR. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bigelow AR area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Arkansas to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Arkansas. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Bigelow AR home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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. So if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Bigelow AR along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Bigelow AR.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Bigelow AR area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Bigelow 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 colleges 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bigelow AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Bigelow AR area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Bigelow AR
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bigelow AR.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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