How to Pick the Best Nursing Program near Rogers AR
Choosing the best nursing school near Rogers AR may feel like a complex undertaking, especially if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first discuss the nursing degree alternatives that are available together with what the roles of nurses are in our medical system.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Rogers AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And 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 two years, or advance to achieve 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 Rogers Arkansas area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Arkansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some Rogers AR students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little 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.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an indispensable component of a Rogers AR medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, among the most meaningful are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession out of a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This human side of the healthcare profession, rather than the analytical or research related aspects, is appealing to many who decide to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work environments, such as home care facilities, doctor's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While most nurses deliver primary patient care, others elect to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Rogers AR or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Rogers 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Rogers AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Rogers AR area hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Rogers AR RN School
Deciding on the ideal nursing college is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Rogers AR.