How to Find the Right Nursing College near Sherwood Arkansas
Searching for the best nursing program near Sherwood AR may seem like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Sherwood AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Sherwood AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive 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 previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Sherwood AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally 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 course 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Sherwood AR or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Sherwood 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Sherwood 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 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 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 Sherwood AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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 prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Sherwood AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many Sherwood AR students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Sherwood AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Sherwood 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.
Sherwood is a city in Pulaski County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 29,523. It is part of the Little Rock−North Little Rock−Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area with 699,757 people according to the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.8 square miles (54.0 km2), of which 20.6 square miles (53.4 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2), or 1.15%, is water.
Sherwood lies in the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen Cfa). Sherwood experiences all four seasons and does receive cold air masses from the north. July is the hottest month of the year, with an average high of 92 °F (33 °C) and an average low of 73 °F (23 °C). Temperatures above 100 °F (37.8 °C) are somewhat common. January is the coldest month with an average high of 50 °F (10 °C) and an average low of 33 °F (1 °C). The city's highest temperature was 110 °F (43.3 °C), recorded in July 1986. The lowest temperature recorded was −6 °F (−21.1 °C), in January 1985.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Sherwood AR
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Sherwood AR.
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