How to Select a Nursing School near Swifton Arkansas
Locating the right nursing college near Swifton AR may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training 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 final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Swifton AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered 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 continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Swifton AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Swifton AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Swifton AR or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Swifton AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in 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. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews 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 call some Swifton 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 programs you are considering 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Swifton AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Swifton AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many 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 rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Swifton AR students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Swifton AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Swifton 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.
As of the census of 2000, there were 871 people, 335 households, and 245 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,752.3 people per square mile (672.6/km²). There were 365 housing units at an average density of 734.3/sq mi (281.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.93% White, 0.46% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 1.03% from other races, and 0.46% from two or more races. 2.30% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 335 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.5% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.6% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the city, the population was spread out with 28.0% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Swifton AR
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Swifton AR.
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