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Nursing School Degree Programs Hot Springs National Park Arkansas

How to Enroll In the Best RN Training Program near Hot Springs National Park AR

Hot Springs National Park AR RN with Doctor and PatientChoosing the best nursing program near Hot Springs National Park AR may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional things to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first review the nursing degree options that are offered together with what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Hot Springs National Park AR Nurse taking vital signs of elderly woman

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

Hot Springs National Park Arkansas Registered Nurse assisting surgeon

There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Hot Springs National Park Arkansas area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Schools

Hot Springs National Park Arkansas woman attending RN classes onlineEnrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Hot Springs National Park AR students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Things to Ask Nursing Schools

Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Hot Springs National Park AR or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Arkansas for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Hot Springs National Park 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 looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Hot Springs National Park AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain 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 prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Hot Springs National Park AR area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Choose the Right Hot Springs National Park AR RN Program

Enrolling in the ideal nursing school is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community.  By utilizing our checklist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Hot Springs National Park AR.