How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Vilonia Arkansas
Selecting the right nursing college near Vilonia AR may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Vilonia AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping 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 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 available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Vilonia AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 attests that the core curriculum properly 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Vilonia 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the 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 check 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Vilonia AR or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Vilonia AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with 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 imperative that the school you are attending 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 working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Vilonia 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Vilonia AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Vilonia AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Vilonia AR students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Vilonia AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Vilonia 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.
Vilonia is a city in Faulkner County, Arkansas, United States. Its population was 3,815 at the 2010 census, up from 2,106 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area.
A small portion of the town was destroyed by a tornado on the evening of April 25, 2011. The devastated area was a mobile home park. The tornado was confirmed by National Weather Service survey crews, who rated the tornado a high end EF2. Four people were killed in the Vilonia area as a result of the twister.
On April 27, 2014 in the late evening hours, a violent EF4 tornado slammed through Mayflower and continued on into Vilonia just before 8 PM. Sixteen people were killed, several homes in one subdivision were swept clean off their foundations, a 15-ton fertilizer tank was thrown 3/4 of a mile, and several businesses were damaged or destroyed. The rating is disputed due to the fact of houses being completely obliterated, but having cut nails as foundation anchors, which gave the tornado a final rating of EF4 with winds at 190 MPH. The NWS office in Little Rock said that if it occurred before the EF-Scale was implemented in 2007, it more than likely would have been rated an F5. There was consideration of upgrading the tornado to EF5 status, but due to the quality of construction, the EF4 rating stands.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Vilonia AR
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Vilonia AR.
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