How to Choose a Nursing Program in Stuttgart Arkansas
Locating the right nursing school near Stuttgart AR may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Stuttgart AR medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the care 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
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Stuttgart AR, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Stuttgart AR. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive 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 explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Stuttgart AR or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Stuttgart AR. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Stuttgart AR area. 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Arkansas 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Arkansas. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Stuttgart AR home, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as 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 undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Stuttgart AR along with the price of tuition are most likely 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 prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Stuttgart AR.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Stuttgart AR area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments 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 determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Stuttgart AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Stuttgart AR area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Stuttgart AR
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you pick an RN college 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 pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Stuttgart AR.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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