How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Lowell Arkansas
Choosing the right nursing college near Lowell AR may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional aspects to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Lowell AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Lowell AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate 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 basically two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some 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.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Lowell AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Lowell AR or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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. In addition to helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Lowell AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers 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. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Lowell AR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Lowell AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Lowell AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some Lowell AR students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lowell AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lowell 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.
Lowell is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. Located within the Ozarks, first settlement was along Old Wire Road in the 1840s, and although destroyed during the Civil War, the community was reestablished by J. H. McClure and thrived when the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway came through the area in the 1880s. Today, the city is a growing bedroom community within the rapidly growing Northwest Arkansas region. Lowell is also home to the headquarters of trucking company J.B. Hunt. Lowell's population was 7,327 at the 2010 census, an increase of 46% since 2000.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Lowell has a total area of 9.2 square miles (23.9 km2), of which 9.2 square miles (23.7 km2) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.68%, is water. Lowell is located in southern Benton County at 36°15′38″N 94°8′22″W / 36.26056°N 94.13944°W / 36.26056; -94.13944 (36.260429, -94.139570). It is bordered by the cities of Springdale and Bethel Heights to the south, Cave Springs to the west and Rogers to the north. 4 miles (6 km) to the east is Beaver Lake, a large reservoir of the White River.
The Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Area consists of three Arkansas counties: Benton, Madison, and Washington, and McDonald County, Missouri. The area had a population of 347,045 at the 2000 census which had increased to 463,204 by the 2010 Census (an increase of 33.47 per cent). The area does not consist of the usual principal-city-with-suburbs morphology; instead the four principal cities are all located along Interstate 49 in a linear configuration. Lowell is also located along this corridor, between Springdale and Rogers.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Lowell AR
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Lowell AR.
More Awesome Locations in Arkansas
Business Results 1 - 10 of 6