How to Pick the Right Nursing College near Bentonville AR
Locating the best nursing program near Bentonville AR may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional aspects to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree alternatives that are offered together with what the functions of nurses are in our healthcare system.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Bentonville AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and normally 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Bentonville Arkansas area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Bentonville AR students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Bentonville AR or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges 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 mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Arkansas for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with 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 organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bentonville 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bentonville AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Bentonville AR area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Bentonville AR RN School
Selecting the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bentonville AR.