How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Pocahontas Arkansas
Choosing the right nursing program near Pocahontas AR may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional things to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Pocahontas AR healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Pocahontas AR, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Pocahontas AR. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares 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 obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance 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 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Pocahontas AR or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Pocahontas AR. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately 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 attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pocahontas AR area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Arkansas to make certain that the training course 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 other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Arkansas. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Pocahontas AR home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start 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 necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Pocahontas AR along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Pocahontas 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Pocahontas AR area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares 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 reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Pocahontas 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 schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Pocahontas AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Pocahontas AR area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Pocahontas AR
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Pocahontas AR.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Arkansas