How to Select a Nursing School near London Arkansas
Finding the right nursing program near London AR may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional things to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as London AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the London AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities 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) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at London AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in 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 minimal period of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally 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 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near London AR or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in London AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some London 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the London AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with London AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some London AR students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near London AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater London 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.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), of which 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (1.64%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 925 people, 359 households, and 268 families residing in the city. The population density was 385.5 people per square mile (148.8/km²). There were 413 housing units at an average density of 172.1 per square mile (66.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.6% White, 0.3% Black or African American, 1.41% Native American, 0.22% Asian, and 1.41% from two or more races. 1.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 359 households out of which 10.0% had children under the age of 1 living with them, 59.9% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.1% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% 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 2.97.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near London AR
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in London AR.
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