How to Choose a Nursing College near Van Buren Arkansas
Finding the best nursing school near Van Buren AR may feel like a complex project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regretably, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing college. There are various crucial additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different Van Buren AR medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 several degree options to choose from 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Van Buren AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 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 two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require 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 method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some Van Buren AR students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Van Buren AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans in Van Buren AR, which are often 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Van Buren 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Van Buren AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Van Buren AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Van Buren AR?
Van Buren, Arkansas
Van Buren /væn ˈbjʊərən/ is the second largest city in the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area and the county seat of Crawford County, Arkansas, United States. The city is located directly northeast of Fort Smith at the Interstate 40 - Interstate 540 junction. The city was incorporated in 1845 and as of the 2010 census had a population of 22,791, ranking it as the state's 22nd largest city, behind Searcy.
The area was settled by David Boyd and Thomas Martin in 1818. After Arkansas became a territory in 1819 Daniel and Thomas Phillips constructed a lumber yard in the community to serve as a fuel depot for traffic along the Arkansas River. In 1831 a post office was constructed for the community, at the time known as Phillips Landing. This post office was named after the newly appointed Secretary of State, Martin Van Buren.
John Drennen, along with his partner David Thompson, purchased the area for US$11,000. They moved their business of supplying firewood for steamboats to this new location on higher ground. The courthouse was constructed on a lot of land donated by Drennen on the condition that Van Buren become the county seat. The Drennen Reserve is one of the town's existing historical sites from the 1830s.
Select the Right RN College near Van Buren AR
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select 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 nurse in Van Buren AR.
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