How to Choose a Nursing College near Gentry Arkansas
Locating the right nursing school near Gentry AR may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional things to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Gentry AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Gentry AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at 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 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Gentry AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Gentry AR or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Gentry AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online 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. In addition, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Gentry 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Gentry AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Gentry AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some Gentry AR students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Gentry AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Gentry Arkansas area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Gentry is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 3,158 at the 2010 census. The city was founded in the Ozark Mountains in 1894 along what would become the Kansas City Southern Railroad. The city's prior prosperity in the orchard industry, especially apples, was further strengthened by the rail connection. Following the decline of the apple industry in the 1930s, Gentry shifted its economy towards poultry along with many other areas of northwest Arkansas. Today, Gentry is located within the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Area. Gentry is known for the Wild Wilderness Drive-Through Safari, located 2 miles (3 km) north of the city limits.
Gentry began as a rural Ozark agricultural community named Orchard City. Located in western Benton County, it was known for its apple orchards and other produce. The town began to grow when the Kansas City Southern Railroad was constructed through the town. In 1894, residents of the community petitioned the county to officially incorporate, and the city's name was changed to Gentry, after an official in charge of the construction of the railroad.
The railroad company built a new depot in Gentry in 1926-1927. It was known as one of the nicest depots on the railway line. A banquet was held for the grand opening, and railway officials arrived on a special train to commemorate the event. Four to six passenger trains a week came through Gentry until passenger service was discontinued in 1964.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Gentry AR
Choosing the right registered nursing program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Gentry AR.
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