How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Hartford Arkansas
Searching for the best nursing school near Hartford AR may seem like a difficult project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Hartford AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Hartford AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically 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.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at Hartford AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Hartford AR or on the web, you can use the following checklist 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 essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Hartford AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Hartford 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Hartford AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Hartford AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some Hartford AR students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little 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.
Attending a Nursing School near Hartford AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Hartford 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.
As of the census of 2000, there were 772 people, 299 households, and 217 families residing in the city. The population density was 427.3 people per square mile (164.7/km²). There were 346 housing units at an average density of 191.5/sq mi (73.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.52% White, 1.17% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 1.55% from other races, and 3.63% from two or more races. 2.46% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 299 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.4% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Hartford AR
Choosing the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Hartford AR.
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