How to Select a Nursing School near Ward Arkansas
Choosing the best nursing program near Ward AR may feel like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different Ward AR medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from 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 just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Ward AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Ward AR students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Ward AR area and throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select 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 initial two points 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 evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Ward AR, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, 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 readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Ward 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 programs 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 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 good reputation within the Ward AR healthcare 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 setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Ward AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Ward AR?
Ward is the third most populous city in Lonoke County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 4,067 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The city is divided into three wards, progressing from the northeast to the southwest. In the city's first ward is its downtown, which is situated diagonally along a railroad line running parallel to Arkansas Highway 367 (the former path of U.S. Highway 67). The second ward contains the central portion of the city, its industrial area, and its access to the current U.S. Highway 67/167 (Future Interstate 57). Arkansas Highway 319 (Peyton Street within the city south of Highway 367) is a primary thoroughfare in central Ward toward the southwestern section of the city. Some of the most recent development is in the city's third ward, situated mostly along Peyton Street, south of Wilson Street into the Old Austin community and Arkansas Highway 38; a small detached portion of the ward is located to the northwest along the railroad line and Arkansas Highway 367. Ward Central Elementary, the city's campus of the Cabot School District, is located in the larger portion of the third ward.
Ward is governed by a mayor-council form of municipal government, with a mayor, city clerk, and six-member city council, as well as four city departments — fire, police, street maintenance, and utilities (water and sanitation). City administration is housed in the former Ward Elementary School; the campus is also the site of the city's library, a branch of the Lonoke-Prairie Regional Library System, also the site of the Ward Lions Club.
Choose the Right RN College near Ward AR
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Ward AR.
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