How to Pick a Nursing School near Ash Flat Arkansas
Choosing the best nursing school near Ash Flat AR may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive 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 contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing school. There are many key additional considerations to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Ash Flat AR medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular 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
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver 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 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 continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Ash Flat AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Ash Flat AR students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Ash Flat AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Ash Flat AR, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Ash Flat 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Ash Flat AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Ash Flat AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Ash Flat AR?
Ash Flat, Arkansas
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,082 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 96.8% White, 0.5% Black, 0.5% Native American and 1.5% from two or more races. 0.8% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 977 people, 430 households, and 233 families residing in the city. The population density was 175.7 people per square mile (67.8/km²). There were 485 housing units at an average density of 87.2 per square mile (33.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.57% White, 0.41% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, and 0.82% from two or more races. 0.72% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 430 households out of which 24.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.1% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.8% were non-families. 41.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 27.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.91.
Choose the Right RN Course near Ash Flat AR
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 licensed registered nurse in Ash Flat AR.
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