How to Choose the Best Nursing College near Little Rock Arkansas
Finding the right nursing college near Little Rock AR may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover the nursing degree options that are available together with what the functions of nurses are in our health system.
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Nursing Degree Options
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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Little Rock AR area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress 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 acquiring 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 obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Choose Nursing as a Career?
Nurses are an indispensable component of a Little Rock AR medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most meaningful are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often choose the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic conditions. This human aspect of the health profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is appealing to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work environments, including nursing homes, doctor’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses deliver direct patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Little Rock AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Little Rock 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 can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Little Rock AR or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Little Rock 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 imperative 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 practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Little Rock 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 complete 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Little Rock AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified 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 Little Rock AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Weekend RN Degree Programs Little Rock Arkansas
Picking the ideal nursing program is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Weekend RN Degree Programs and wanting more information on the topic Free Info on RN Degrees Online.. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Little Rock AR.
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Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Arkansas. As the county seat of Pulaski County, the city was incorporated on November 7, 1831, on the south bank of the Arkansas River close to the state's geographic center. The city derives its name from a rock formation along the river, named the "Little Rock" (French: La Petite Roche) by the French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe in the 1720s. The capital of the Arkansas Territory was moved to Little Rock from Arkansas Post in 1821. The city's population was 198,541 in 2016 according to the United States Census Bureau. The six-county Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is ranked 78th in terms of population in the United States with 738,344 residents according to the 2017 estimate by the United States Census Bureau.
Little Rock is a cultural, economic, government, and transportation center within Arkansas and the South. Several cultural institutions are in Little Rock, such as the Arkansas Arts Center, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, in addition to hiking, boating, and other outdoor recreational opportunities. Little Rock's history is available through history museums, historic districts or neighborhoods like the Quapaw Quarter, and historic sites such as Little Rock Central High School. The city is the headquarters of Dillard's, Windstream Communications, Acxiom, Stephens Inc., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Heifer International, Winrock International, the Clinton Foundation, the Rose Law Firm, and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Other corporations, such as Dassault Falcon Jet, LM Wind Power, Simmons Bank, Euronet Worldwide, AT&T, and Entergy have large operations in the city. State government is a large employer, with many offices downtown. Two major Interstate highways, Interstate 30 and Interstate 40, meet in Little Rock, with the Port of Little Rock serving as a shipping hub.
Little Rock derives its name from a small rock formation on the south bank of the Arkansas River called the "Little Rock" (French: La Petite Roche). The Little Rock was used by early river traffic as a landmark and became a well-known river crossing. The Little Rock is across the river from The Big Rock, a large bluff at the edge of the river, which was once used as a rock quarry.