How to Choose a Nursing School in Russellville Arkansas
Locating the right nursing school near Russellville AR may feel like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Russellville AR medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few 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
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Russellville AR, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Russellville AR. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally 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 may wish 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 normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Russellville 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Russellville AR. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Russellville AR area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Arkansas to make sure that the education 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in Arkansas. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Russellville AR home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Russellville AR and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Russellville AR.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Russellville AR area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all 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 check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Russellville 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 schools you are considering 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Russellville AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Russellville AR area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Russellville AR
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Russellville AR.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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