How to Choose a Nursing Program near Bigelow Arkansas
Searching for the best nursing program near Bigelow AR may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing school. There are several essential additional aspects to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Bigelow AR medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising 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 advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Bigelow AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares 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 obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress 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 receiving 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 acquired 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred 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 specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many Bigelow AR students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little 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 Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Bigelow AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Bigelow AR, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bigelow 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Bigelow AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Bigelow AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Bigelow AR?
Bigelow is a town in Perry County, Arkansas, United States. Located in Central Arkansas near the confluence of the Fourche La Fave River and Arkansas River, the community was incorporated in 1905 as Esau. Based largely on the timber industry, the town grew until the lumber mills were closed in 1920. The population was 329 at the 2000 census.
Bigelow did not exist by its current name until 1911, as it was formerly known as "Esau"—a community a few miles southwest of the present Toadsuck Ferry Bridge that grew to border the edge of the small town of Fourche. In 1911, Fourche River Mill owner, N.P. Bigelow, built an elaborate white house of the best lumber on a hill above the town. He was elected mayor, and then gained permission from the state's General Assembly to change the name of Esau to Bigelow. It was at one time the biggest town in the county; a vote was taken to move the county seat from Perryville to Bigelow, Bigelow won the vote, but the move was never made.
As of the census of 2000, there were 329 people, 127 households, and 91 families residing in the town. The population density was 391.5 inhabitants per square mile (151.2/km²). There were 144 housing units at an average density of 171.3 per square mile (66.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.57% White, 0.61% Black or African American, 0.91% Native American, 0.61% Asian, and 0.30% from two or more races. 2.43% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Right RN Course near Bigelow AR
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Bigelow AR.
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