Category Archives: Arkansas

Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Valley Springs AR

How to Select a Nursing Degree Program near Valley Springs Arkansas

Valley Springs AR pediatric nurse holding babyFinding the right nursing college near Valley Springs AR may feel like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Valley Springs AR Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Valley Springs AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support 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. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Valley Springs AR area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional 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 requirements.

LVN and LPN Courses

Valley Springs AR geriatric nurse with patientThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Arkansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Programs

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at Valley Springs AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.

Online Nursing Programs

female student attending nursing school online in Valley Springs AREnrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Valley Springs AR students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Valley Springs AR or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin 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 essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Valley Springs AR for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Valley Springs 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 schools 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Valley Springs AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Valley Springs AR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Valley Springs AR?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Valley Springs 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.

Valley Springs, Arkansas

As of the census[5] of 2010, there were 175 people, 69 households, and 54 families residing in the town. The population density was 137.2/km² (352.0/mi²). There were 73 housing units at an average density of 60.0/km² (153.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.21% White, 1.20% Native American, 1.20% Asian, 0.60% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. 0.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 66 households out of which 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.6% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.2% were non-families. 16.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the town, the population was spread out with 28.7% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.

Pick the Right Nursing Program near Valley Springs AR

Valley Springs AR Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyChoosing the right nursing program is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Valley Springs AR.

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