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Nursing School Degree Programs Bentonville Arkansas

How to Select the Best RN Course near Bentonville AR

Bentonville AR Registered Nurse with Doctor and PatientLocating the best nursing program near Bentonville AR may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional things to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Bentonville AR RN taking vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Bentonville AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing 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), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

Bentonville Arkansas Registered Nurse assisting surgeon

There is more than one degree option offered to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Bentonville Arkansas area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally 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 employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after obtaining 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, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.

Nursing Online Degrees

Bentonville AR woman attending RN college onlineEnrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Bentonville AR students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask Nursing Colleges

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Bentonville AR or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see 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. Aside from helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Bentonville AR healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bentonville AR medical 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. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Bentonville AR area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best Bentonville AR RN Program

Bentonville Arkansas RN holding medical chartSelecting the ideal nursing college is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community.  By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bentonville AR.