How to Find the Right Nursing School in Sherwood Arkansas
Searching for the best nursing school near Sherwood AR may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Sherwood AR healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care 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 duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing 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 higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Sherwood AR, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Sherwood AR. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn 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 2 year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Sherwood AR or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Sherwood AR. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 core curriculum properly 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 attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Sherwood AR area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Arkansas to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in Arkansas. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Sherwood AR home, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Sherwood AR as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Sherwood AR.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Sherwood AR area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Sherwood 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Sherwood AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Sherwood AR area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Sherwood AR
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Sherwood AR.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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