How to Select a Nursing Program near Piggott Arkansas
Selecting the right nursing school near Piggott AR may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Piggott AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting 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 high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 several degree options available 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Piggott AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job 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 expansive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 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 typically 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.
When 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally 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 kind of credential you pursue, it should be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Piggott AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length 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 have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Piggott AR or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Piggott AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Piggott AR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Piggott AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. 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. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Piggott AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many Piggott AR students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Piggott AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Piggott 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.
Piggott is a city in Clay County, Arkansas, United States, one of that county's two seats (Corning is the other). It is the northern terminus of the Arkansas segment of the Crowley's Ridge Parkway, a National Scenic Byway. As of the 2010 census, Piggott's population was 3,849. The town was founded by William N. Barron and named after his sister (Sarah Ann, wife of John Piggott).
Piggott is perhaps best known for its association with American writer and Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway, whose second wife Pauline Pfeiffer was the daughter of prominent local landowner and businessman Paul Pfeiffer. After meeting and marrying in Paris in the late 1920s, Hemingway and Pauline made frequent and lengthy visits to her parents' home in Piggott, where Ernest Hemingway wrote portions of A Farewell to Arms, and other works. The Pfeiffer House and Carriage House are now preserved as the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, run by Arkansas State University.
The town was mentioned in the 1990s television sitcom Evening Shade, set in Arkansas. The high school football team coached by "Wood Newton" (played by Burt Reynolds) celebrated when it tied Piggott High in a game, which it almost always lost.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Piggott AR
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Piggott AR.
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