Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Alpena AR

How to Pick a Nursing Program near Alpena Arkansas

Alpena AR pediatric nurse holding babyChoosing the right nursing program near Alpena AR may seem like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Alpena AR Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Alpena AR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact 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
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Alpena AR area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 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 may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After 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) in order 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 requirements.

LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees

Alpena AR geriatric nurse with patientThere are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Certificates

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Alpena AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.

Nursing Online Programs

female student attending nursing school online in Alpena AREnrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Alpena AR students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

What to Ask Nursing Schools

Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Alpena AR or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arkansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.

  • 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Alpena AR for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Arkansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Alpena AR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Alpena AR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Alpena AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Alpena AR?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Alpena Arkansas area.  If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Alpena, Arkansas

Alpena Pass was founded in 1908 on top of a graveyard shortly after the Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad was built through Boone County. In the 1950s, the word "pass" was dropped from the name, thus creating the current name, Alpena.

At the time of the town's founding, the town of Carrollton was in decline. Many of the buildings of Carrollton were disassembled, moved and reassembled at Alpena Pass. MADtv's Rice and Beans Tour once came through the town, doing a tongue-in-cheek expose` about rural America. They encountered a seemingly drug-intoxicated woman and had an interview with the "mayor".

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 371 people, 146 households, and 95 families residing in the town. The population density was 105.3/km² (272.9/mi²). There were 170 housing units at an average density of 48.3/km² (125.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.50% White, 2.16% Native American, 0.27% Asian, and 1.08% from two or more races. 2.43% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Choose the Right Nursing School near Alpena AR

Alpena AR Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyDeciding on the right nursing college is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Alpena AR.

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