How to Select a Nursing School near Palestine Arkansas
Selecting the right nursing program near Palestine AR may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Palestine AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Palestine AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four 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 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 normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Palestine AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Palestine AR or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site 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 emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Palestine 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- 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. Also, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Palestine 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Palestine AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Palestine AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many Palestine AR students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Palestine AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Palestine 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 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2), of which 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.62%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 741 people, 299 households, and 209 families residing in the city. The population density was 230.2 people per square mile (88.9/km²). There were 321 housing units at an average density of 99.7 per square mile (38.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.96% White, 13.23% Black or African American, 0.13% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. 0.27% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 299 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.2% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.01.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Palestine AR
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 practicing RN in Palestine AR.
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