How to Select a Nursing School near Malvern Arkansas
Searching for the right nursing college near Malvern AR may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to check into before you make a decision 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 care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Malvern AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 generally 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 are multiple degrees 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Malvern AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 normally a 2 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Malvern AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Malvern AR or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Malvern AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Malvern 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 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 good reputation within the Malvern AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Malvern AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many Malvern AR students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Malvern AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Malvern 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.
Malvern is a city in and the county seat of Hot Spring County, Arkansas, United States. Founded as a railroad stop at the eastern edge of the Ouachita Mountains, the community's history and economy have been tied to available agricultural and mineral resources. The production of bricks from locally available clay has earned the city the nickname, "The Brick Capital of the World". The city had a population of 10,318 at the time of the 2010 census, and in 2015 the estimated population was 10,928.
Named after Malvern Hill, Virginia, Malvern was founded in 1870 by the Cairo and Fulton Railroad as a city site 21 miles (34 km) southeast of Hot Springs. On October 15, 1878, Malvern officially became the county seat of Hot Spring County. The original inhabitants of the county were Native Americans, trappers, hunters, and farmers.
The Hot Springs Railroad, often referred to as the Diamond Jo line, was established as a narrow-gauge railroad by Chicago businessman Joseph Reynolds in 1874. Reynolds began building the Hot Springs Railroad, which extends northwest from Malvern Junction, a station on the Cairo & Fulton, to Hot Springs, after he had endured unsatisfactory stagecoach rides to the latter city. Because Malvern was the closest railroad station to Hot Springs, it became an important junction point for passengers transferring from rail to stagecoach to complete their journey to the spas in Hot Springs. This was the only railroad into Hot Springs for 15 years. The opening of the Little Rock & Hot Springs Western Railroad in April 1900 provided a more direct access to Hot Springs from Little Rock and the north, and both the Choctaw, Oklahoma & Gulf and the Iron Mountain took advantage of this route, effectively cutting the volume of interchange traffic into Malvern. By 1902 passenger train shuttle service through Malvern had essentially ended.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Malvern AR
Choosing the right registered nursing college is probably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Malvern AR.
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