How to Pick a Nursing School near Stamps Arkansas
Searching for the best nursing college near Stamps AR may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Stamps AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 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 Stamps AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers 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) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually 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 want 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Stamps AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the 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 training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Stamps AR or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, 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 select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Stamps 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Stamps 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 schools 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 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 superb reputation within the Stamps AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Stamps AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Stamps AR students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Stamps AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Stamps 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.
A post office has been in operation in Stamps since 1887. The community has the name of the local Stamps family. Stamps was the shop headquarters for the former Louisiana and Arkansas Railway until the relocation in the early 1920s to Minden in Webster Parish in north Louisiana.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,131 people, 830 households, and 541 families residing in the town. The population density was 693.7 people per square mile (268.0/km²). There were 1,003 housing units at an average density of 326.5 per square mile (126.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 44.30% White, 54.48% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 0.56% from two or more races. Of the population 0.61% was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 830 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.8% were married couples living together, 21.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. Of all households 31.7% were made up of individuals and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.10.
Select the Right Nursing College near Stamps AR
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Stamps AR.
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