How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Mount Vernon Arkansas
Locating the right nursing program near Mount Vernon AR may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Mount Vernon AR medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Mount Vernon AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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 vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Mount Vernon AR students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Mount Vernon AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Mount Vernon AR, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending 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 practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Mount Vernon 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 schools 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Mount Vernon AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Mount Vernon AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Mount Vernon AR?
Mount Vernon, Arkansas
Mount Vernon is a town in Faulkner County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 145 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Mount Vernon is located along the eastern edge of Faulkner County at 35°13′30″N 92°7′29″W / 35.22500°N 92.12472°W / 35.22500; -92.12472 (35.224891, -92.124808). The eastern border of the town follows the White County line.
Arkansas Highway 36 passes through Mount Vernon, leading north 9 miles (14 km) to Rose Bud, and southwest 17 miles (27 km) to U.S. Route 64 at Hamlet. Conway, the Faulkner County seat, is 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Mount Vernon via AR-36 and US-64.
Pick the Right RN Program near Mount Vernon AR
Selecting the right registered nursing school is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick 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 nurse in Mount Vernon AR.
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