How to Find the Right Nursing School in Compton Arkansas
Locating the right nursing program near Compton AR may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Compton AR medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Compton AR, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Compton AR. 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 achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive 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 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 commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Compton AR or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Compton AR. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain 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 supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other 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.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Compton AR area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Arkansas to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Arkansas. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Compton AR home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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 little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Compton AR along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. 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 compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to 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 help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Compton AR.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Compton AR area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch 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 internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Compton 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Compton AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Compton AR area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Compton AR
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Compton AR.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several 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 profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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