How to Select a Nursing College near Glenwood Arkansas
Selecting the right nursing program near Glenwood AR may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly 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 necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional things to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Glenwood AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order 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 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Glenwood AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 obtained at Glenwood AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Glenwood AR or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Glenwood AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Glenwood 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 colleges 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Glenwood AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Glenwood AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Glenwood AR students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Glenwood AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Glenwood 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.
Glenwood is a city in Pike and Montgomery counties in Arkansas. The community is located along the Caddo River in the Ouachita Mountains. Glenwood was formed as a boomtown following the development of the Gurdon and Fort Smith Railroad and timber interests in the area. After the establishment of a lumber mill, the community received a post office and incorporated in April 1909. Although the community saw its major employer leave during the Great Depression, the city has again seen rapid growth in recent decades. The city also sees significant tourism related to its scenic position in the Ouachitas and among several recreational lakes.
At the 2000 census, there were 1,751 people, 696 households and 446 families residing in the city. The population density was 630.5 per square mile (243.2/km²). There were 772 housing units at an average density of 278.0/sq mi (107.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.18% White, 1.03% Black or African American, 1.03% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 8.79% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. 11.31% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 696 households of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.97.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Glenwood AR
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Glenwood AR.
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