How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Valley Springs Arkansas
Choosing the right nursing college near Valley Springs AR may feel like a formidable project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing college. There are many important additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Valley Springs AR medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Valley Springs AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 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 desire to advance 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 two year program after obtaining 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some Valley Springs AR students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Valley Springs AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Valley Springs AR, which are frequently 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific 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 an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Valley Springs 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 programs 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 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 favorable reputation within the Valley Springs AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Valley Springs AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Valley Springs AR?
Valley Springs, Arkansas
As of the census of 2010, there were 175 people, 69 households, and 54 families residing in the town. The population density was 137.2/km² (352.0/mi²). There were 73 housing units at an average density of 60.0/km² (153.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.21% White, 1.20% Native American, 1.20% Asian, 0.60% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. 0.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 66 households out of which 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.6% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.2% were non-families. 16.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 2.85.
In the town, the population was spread out with 28.7% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 85.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Valley Springs AR
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Valley Springs AR.
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