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Nursing School Degree Programs Springdale Arkansas

How to Find the Right RN Course near Springdale AR

Springdale AR Nurse with Doctor and PatientSelecting the best nursing college near Springdale AR may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree options that are available together with what the roles of nurses are in our medical system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Springdale AR Nurse taking blood pressure of woman

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Springdale AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Keeping 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

Springdale Arkansas Nurse assisting surgeon

There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Springdale Arkansas area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Arkansas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Arkansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don't forget to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.

Online Nursing Programs

Springdale AR woman attending RN school onlineAttending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Springdale AR students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Why Choose the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an important part of a Springdale AR medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to many opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, the most meaningful are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often choose the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This human side of the health profession, rather than the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who choose to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work settings, such as nursing homes, physician's offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses provide primary patient care, others opt to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.

Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

questions to ask Springdale AR nursing degree programsNow that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Springdale AR or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges 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 workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.

  • 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Arkansas for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Springdale 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 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Springdale AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially 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 Springdale AR area hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Choose the Best Springdale AR RN Program

Springdale AR pediatric nurse holding newbornChoosing the ideal nursing school is perhaps the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing program. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose a nursing college 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 produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Springdale AR.