How to Choose a Nursing College near Clinton Arkansas
Selecting the best nursing school near Clinton AR may feel like a complex undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different Clinton AR medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available 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 just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Clinton AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Clinton AR students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Clinton AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Clinton AR, which are oftentimes not offered 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Clinton 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Clinton AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Clinton AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Clinton AR?
Clinton is the county seat of Van Buren County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 2,602 at the 2010 census, making it the most populous city in the county (reclaiming the distinction from the resort community of Fairfield Bay). The city was named for DeWitt Clinton, the New York governor who built the Erie Canal; he had also been a U.S. Senator from New York.
The City of Clinton is situated on the shore of the Archey Fork, a tributary of the Upper Little Red River which flows into Greers Ferry Lake. This body of water is known for its rich and diverse fish habitat and recreational uses. A channelization project in 1982 following a major flood event has recently been re-engineered by The Nature Conservancy in cooperation with city officials and corporate sponsors. The multi-phase restoration project has witnessed the installation of a cantilevered stream bed, bank stabilization, and habitat regeneration. The restoration is now part of the city's historic downtown park and trail system.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,283 people, 1,007 households, and 626 families residing in the city. The population density was 200.3 people per square mile (77.3/km²). There were 1,123 housing units at an average density of 98.5 per square mile (38.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.71% White, 0.04% Black or African American, 0.74% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 1.31% from other races, and 2.06% from two or more races. 2.67% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Right RN Program near Clinton AR
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you choose 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 develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Clinton AR.
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