How to Select a Nursing School near Star City Arkansas
Choosing the right nursing college near Star City AR may seem like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to search 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 study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different Star City AR medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific 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 functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer 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 attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Star City AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some Star City AR students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Star City AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Star City AR, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Star City AR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 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 good reputation within the Star City AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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 requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Star City AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Star City AR?
Star City, Arkansas
Star City is a city in, and the county seat of, Lincoln County, Arkansas, United States,. Incorporated in 1876, the city is located between the Arkansas Delta and Arkansas Timberlands. With an economy historically based on agriculture, today Star City has developed a diverse economy based on both industry and agriculture. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,274. Star City is located within the Pine Bluff metropolitan area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,471 people, 875 households, and 603 families residing in the city. The population density was 587.5 people per square mile (226.6/km²). There were 972 housing units at an average density of 231.1 per square mile (89.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.93% White, 21.08% Black or African American, 0.61% Native American, 0.04% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. 1.21% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 875 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 18.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.10.
Select the Right RN School near Star City AR
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose 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 RN in Star City AR.
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