How to Find the Right Nursing Degree Program near Texarkana Arkansas
Locating the right nursing college near Texarkana AR may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.
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Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Texarkana AR area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at 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 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Become a Nurse?
Nurses are an important part of a Texarkana AR medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to a number of opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most meaningful are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often go into the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the health profession, rather than the analytical or research related facets, 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, including home care facilities, doctor’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses deliver direct patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Texarkana AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. 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
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Texarkana AR students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Texarkana AR or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. 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 selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Texarkana 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. Certain 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 attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Texarkana 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Texarkana AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Texarkana AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Where to Find Nursing Courses Online Texarkana Arkansas
Deciding on the right nursing school is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Where to Find Nursing Courses Online and wanting more information on the topic Top RN Schools Online.. However, by utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Texarkana AR.
More Arkansas Nursing Locations
Texarkana is a city in Arkansas and the county seat of Miller County. The city is located across the state line from its twin city, Texarkana, Texas. The city was founded at a railroad intersection on December 8, 1873, and was incorporated in Arkansas on August 10, 1880. Texarkana (together with its Texas counterpart) is the principal city of the Texarkana metropolitan area, which is ranked 274th in terms of population in the United States with 150,098 in 2016 according to the United States Census Bureau.
Located within the Ark-La-Tex subregion of Southwest Arkansas, Texarkana is located in the Piney Woods, an oak-hickory forest atop the flat Gulf Coastal Plain. Texarkana's economy is driven by agriculture and the city's position as a crossroads of three major Interstate highways: Interstate 30 (I-30), I-49 and the future I-69. Outdoors tourism, such as fishing at Lake Millwood, are also important in the region. The Texarkana Arkansas School District is the largest public school district on the Arkansas side, leading to graduation from Arkansas High School. The city is home to Texarkana College (on the Texas side of town), and a branch campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope (UACCH).
Texarkana, Arkansas, is located at 33°25′59″N 94°1′14″W / 33.43306°N 94.02056°W / 33.43306; -94.02056 (33.433075, -94.020514). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.9 square miles (108.4 km2), of which 41.7 square miles (107.9 km2) is land and 0.19 square miles (0.5 km2) (0.43%) is water.
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