How to Pick a Nursing College in Marshall Arkansas
Searching for the best nursing college near Marshall AR may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Marshall AR medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty 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 area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Marshall AR, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Marshall AR. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally 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 employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 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 might wish 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 commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Marshall AR or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Marshall AR. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Marshall AR area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Arkansas to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to 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 Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Arkansas. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Marshall AR home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 commitments have left you with little 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.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous 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 workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Marshall AR along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
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 ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Marshall AR.
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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Marshall AR area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Marshall 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 colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Marshall AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Marshall AR area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Marshall AR
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Marshall AR.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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