How to Select an Accredited Nursing Degree Program near Clarksville Arkansas
Selecting the right nursing program near Clarksville AR may seem like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are offered as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.
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There are multiple degrees available to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Clarksville AR area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by 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 ultimately obtain 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 colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress 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 commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
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Why Enter the Nursing Profession?
Nurses are an indispensable part of a Clarksville AR medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for many reasons, the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often go into the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This human side of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related aspects, is appealing to many who decide to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work settings, including nursing homes, doctor’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses deliver direct patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Clarksville AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing 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 more advanced degree may have more complex 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many Clarksville AR students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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 household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Clarksville AR or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see 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. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Clarksville AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific 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 comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Clarksville 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Clarksville AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. 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. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Clarksville AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Masters Programs Clarksville AR
Accelerated RN Schools Clarksville Arkansas
Choosing the right nursing degree program is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Accelerated RN Schools and wanting more information on the topic Evening RN Courses.. However, by utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Clarksville AR.
More Arkansas Nursing Locations
Clarksville is a city in Johnson County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 9,178, up from 7,719 in 2000. As of 2018, the estimated population was 9,743. The city is the county seat of Johnson County. It is nestled between the Arkansas River and the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, and Interstate 40 and US Highway 64 intersect within the city limits. Clarksville-Johnson County is widely known for its peaches, scenic byways and abundance of natural outdoor recreational activities.
The community began as settlers arrived to the Arkansas Territory. After the Osage tribe was relocated by treaty,Cherokee settlers came to Arkansas by 1800 and primarily lived along the Arkansas River. Indian trading factors such as Matthew Lyon established their offices at Spadra, on the west end of Lake Dardanelle on the Arkansas River, a Clarksville location now occupied by Spadra Marina. A historical marker, dedicated in 1984, sits on Spadra Bluff, near the original river town of Spadra. The area was reserved for the Cherokee, so most early settlers of Johnson County did not move into the area until after 1828, the year the Cherokee gave up their land.
Spadra was the first county seat of Johnson County, convenient to steamboat lines. However when stagecoach and train transportation became more common, land routes from Little Rock to Fort Smith were directed along higher elevations through Clarksville. As Clarksville grew, it became the de facto location for the county seat circa 1833, probably due to severe flooding at Spadra. Clarksville was established by survey in November 1836 after Johnson County was formed from part of Pope County. The first court session was held in 1837 in a private building.
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