As nursing programs take off all over the country and educational institutions report high numbers of nursing graduates. It’s hard not to think that nursing may be the industry with the best job prospects. With an ever-increasing elderly population, the demand for nurses has skyrocketed in the past 10 years. According to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing, there are 29 licensed practical nurse (LPN) and 28 registered nurse (RN) approved programs in the state. If you are interested in exploring this industry, there are several important steps you need to take to become a licensed and practicing nurse in Arkansas.
To become a LPN or an RN you must first graduate from one of the accredited schools in Arkansas. Individuals may receive their education from other state institutions, but the Arkansas Board of Nursing must approve these before they are granted a nursing license. There are several nursing programs and routes that you can take to become a LPN or RN. In Arkansas, there are nursing programs that offer associate degrees, diplomas, practical nursing certifications and baccalaureate degrees. Once you have completed your program, the next step is to take the NCLEX exam and become a registered LPN or RN.
If you wish to pursue a career as an LPN, then the best route is either a community college or technical school that offers associate degrees, diplomas and certifications. The Arkansas State Board of Nursing reports that there is not much difference in the type of program you attend, as the pass rates for the NCLEX exam are all pretty comparable between schools and certifications. These programs will typically be shorter and less comprehensive than a baccalaureate degree.
A baccalaureate degree in nursing has several advantages. First, as a four year degree it is a much more detailed and complete program compared to other certifications. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) graduate has the opportunity to become an RN as well as a nurse practitioner (NP). To become an NP one needs an undergraduate degree along with a Masters of Science in Nursing. If you wish to continue your career as a NP, then starting with a baccalaureate degree is your best choice. Finally, the Arkansas State Board of Nursing reports that 86.4% of students who complete a BSN pass the NCLEX exam, which is higher than the national average of 85.3%. Nursing is a very rewarding and fulfilling industry, and with so many job opportunities, it’s hard to overlook!
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