How to Pick an Accredited RN Degree Program near Mansfield Arkansas
Locating the right nursing college near Mansfield AR may seem like a difficult endeavor, 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 appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review the nursing degree options that are offered 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 enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Mansfield AR area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 commonly a two 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 received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Choose Nursing as a Career?
Nurses are an indispensable component of a Mansfield AR medical team, and for a number of 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 various reasons, among the most meaningful are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the medical profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related elements, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work environments, such as home care facilities, physician’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses provide personal patient care, others opt to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Mansfield AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific 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:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many Mansfield AR students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Mansfield AR or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Mansfield AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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 important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Mansfield 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Mansfield AR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Mansfield AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Evening Nursing Programs Mansfield Arkansas
Deciding on the ideal nursing college is arguably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Evening Nursing Programs and wanting more information on the topic Affordable Nursing Training Online.. However, by utilizing our checklist 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Mansfield AR.
More Arkansas Nursing Locations
Mansfield is a city in Scott and Sebastian counties in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The Sebastian County portion of the city is part of the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 1,139. The population was 1,097 at the 2000 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2), of which 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.89%) is water.
As of the census of 2013, there were 1,121 people, 440 households, and 289 families residing in the city. The population density was 493.2 people per square mile (190.8/km²). There were 505 housing units at an average density of 227.1 per square mile (87.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.81% White, 0.09% Black or African American, 1.09% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.91% from other races, and 1.64% from two or more races. 3.37% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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