How to Choose a Nursing School in Poplar Grove Arkansas
Selecting the right nursing school near Poplar Grove 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 already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Poplar Grove AR medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Poplar Grove AR, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Poplar Grove AR. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Arkansas 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 may desire 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Poplar Grove AR or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Poplar Grove AR. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 guarantees that the course of study 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 obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Poplar Grove AR area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Arkansas to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Arkansas. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Poplar Grove AR home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Poplar Grove AR along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Poplar Grove AR.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Poplar Grove AR area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Poplar Grove AR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Poplar Grove AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Poplar Grove AR area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Poplar Grove AR
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 registered nurse in Poplar Grove AR.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should organize a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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