How to Select a Nursing Program near Hazen Arkansas
Selecting the right nursing college near Hazen AR may feel like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regretably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing college. There are many important additional aspects to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Hazen AR medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support 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 in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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.
There are multiple degrees 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 advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Hazen AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 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 use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained 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 don’t forget to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some Hazen AR students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Hazen AR area and throughout 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 location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Hazen AR, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, 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 Hazen 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Hazen AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Hazen AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Hazen AR?
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2), all land. Included is a 0.25-mile wide strip of annexed land along Interstate 40 in Prairie County. Nearby towns are Des Arc, De Valls Bluff, Ulm and Fredonia (Biscoe).
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,637 people, 658 households, and 461 families residing in the city. The population density was 446.8 people per square mile (172.7/km²). There were 732 housing units at an average density of 199.8/sq mi (77.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.57% White, 18.45% Black or African American, 0.55% Native American, and 0.43% from two or more races. 0.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 658 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.88.
Pick the Right RN Course near Hazen AR
Selecting the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Hazen AR.
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