How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Stuttgart Arkansas
Locating the right nursing program near Stuttgart AR may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Stuttgart AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 normally 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 Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Stuttgart AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 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.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically 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 one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Stuttgart AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 minimum period of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Stuttgart AR or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Stuttgart 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain 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 an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Stuttgart AR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Stuttgart AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Stuttgart AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Stuttgart AR students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Stuttgart AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Stuttgart 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.
Stuttgart is a city in and the county seat of the northern district of Arkansas County, Arkansas, United States. It is located on U.S. Route 79, approximately 45 miles (72 km) southeast of Little Rock. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 9,326.
Stuttgart was founded by Reverend Adam Bürkle, a native of Plattenhardt in Germany. He moved to the United States in 1852 and founded a settlement at Gum Pond after living in Ohio. In 1880, he opened a post office and had thus to name the village. In honor of his home he named it after Stuttgart, then capital of the Kingdom of Württemberg. In 1882, the Texas and St. Louis railroad was opened. Stuttgart became a city in 1884, and in 1904, rice farming was first introduced in the Stuttgart area. Stuttgart's first Post Office General was a Black man named Martin Toms according to the US Census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.2 square miles (18.7 km2), all land. Hard clay underlying the area's topsoil makes Stuttgart a good place to grow rice, which grows best in flooded fields made possible by the clay. The geography is mainly flat with no outstanding mountainous features with the exception of "WBA Mountain", a small artificial mound located west of the city.
Select the Right Nursing School near Stuttgart AR
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Stuttgart AR.
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