How to Select the Right Nursing College near Waldo Arkansas
Finding the best nursing school near Waldo AR may seem like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the roles of nurses are in our health system.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Waldo AR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive 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 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arkansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nurses are an important component of a Waldo AR medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, among the most meaningful are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a variety of work environments, including nursing homes, physician’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specialties, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses deliver direct patient care, others elect to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Waldo AR hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing 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.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Waldo AR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that 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 additionally those for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Waldo AR students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Waldo AR or online, 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 within Arkansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Waldo AR for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- 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 too. Additionally, check with the Arkansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Waldo 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 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 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 Waldo AR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Waldo AR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Waldo AR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing College in the greater Waldo Arkansas area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both interesting and useful regarding the location of your school campus.
Waldo celebrated its 120th year as a city in 2007. The small community was once a booming rail city on the Cotton Belt train route. The city has a rail museum with various displays showing its rail history.
Waldo was once home to the Waldo High School Bulldogs basketball teams. Consistently these teams made playoffs and on numerous occasions won the state championship. The legacy of Waldo School will carry on in the community despite its closing in 2005.
Waldo is located in northwestern Columbia County at 33°21′07″N 93°17′40″W / 33.351944°N 93.294372°W / 33.351944; -93.294372. By U.S. Route 371 it is 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Magnolia, the county seat.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Waldo AR
Deciding on the ideal nursing degree program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Nursing Schools Around Me. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Waldo AR.
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