How to Choose a Nursing School near Mount Pleasant Arkansas
Locating the best nursing school near Mount Pleasant AR may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional things to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Mount Pleasant AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Mount Pleasant AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 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 may 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 generally a 2 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.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Other 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.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, 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 course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Mount Pleasant AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Mount Pleasant AR or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors 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 measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized 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 provided in Mount Pleasant 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Mount Pleasant 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 colleges you are looking at 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Mount Pleasant AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Mount Pleasant AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Mount Pleasant AR students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue 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 Mount Pleasant AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Mount Pleasant 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.
Mount Pleasant, Arkansas
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.34 square miles (8.66 km2), of which 3.33 square miles (8.63 km2) are land and 0.02 square miles (0.04 km2), or 0.43%, are water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 401 people, 166 households, and 113 families residing in the town. The population density was 44.7/km² (115.8/mi²). There were 182 housing units at an average density of 20.3/km² (52.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.25% White, 0.25% Asian, and 0.50% from two or more races. 1.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 166 households out of which 37.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.4% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.00.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Mount Pleasant AR
Choosing the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Mount Pleasant AR.
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