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THE CARE E R FOR A LIFETIME

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NURSES GUIDE 2017

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Be a Champion for Children! NOW HIRING SURGICAL NURSES Surgical nurses at Arkansas Children’s Hospital experience: A focus on safety for employees, patients and families Coordinated and collaborative teamwork that provides the highest level of surgical care • Compassionate care for patients of all ages and acuity levels undergoing an intervention • A team that strives for excellence in the perioperative environment • •

Come work with a team recognized internationally for excellence in patient care. To view current job openings, visit archildrens.org/careers.

We champion children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow. 2•

NURSES GUIDE 2017

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The benefits of choosing a career in nursing are limitless!

Walk, jog, or sprint down the path that’s right for you.

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NEW RN GRAD

BAPTIST HEALTH COLLEGE LITTLE ROCK Benefits of getting a nursing degree at BHCLR:

• Only 3 semesters to become an RN with prerequisites • Hands-on instruction - highest number of clinical hours in the state, multiple hospital instruction • Large pool of nursing instructors, mentors & advisors within the program with Masters & Doctorate education • Christian compassion & loving environment

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PROMOTE TO RN II

Senior Assistance Bonus 12 month Vizient AACN Residency Program Tuition Reimbursement Comprehensive Benefits and 401K

• Continuing Education • Tuition Reimbursement • Loan Repayment (after two years)

AFTER THREE YEARS RN EXPERIENCE AND CERTIFICATION

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WORK IN SPECIALTY AREAS • Clinical RN III

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• Educator/Faculty Staff Educator Staff Specialist Faculty at BHCLR DNP/PhD

• Specialty Nurse

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KeepOnAmazing Baptist Health Medical Center-Arkadelphia • Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway • Baptist Health Medical Center-Heber Springs • Baptist Health Medical Center-Hot Spring County Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock • Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock • Baptist Health Medical Center-Stuttgart • Parkway Health Baptist Health Home Health Network • Baptist Health Rehabilitation Institute • Baptist Health Extended Care Hospital ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES • NURSES GUIDE 2017 • 3


NURSING 2017

MEET THE SCHOOL AND HOSPITAL RECRUITERS MICHELLE S. ODOM, RN, MSN (pictured, third from left) Director of Recruitment and Retention Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock Children are at the center of everything we do. Arkansas Children’s is the only hospital system in the state solely dedicated to caring for children, which allows our organization to uniquely shape the landscape of pediatric care in Arkansas. As Champions for Children, Arkansas Children’s Hospital has joined the elite 6 percent of hospitals in the world that have Magnet Status. Arkansas Children’s offers a wide range of opportunities for nurses, from direct patient care to staff education, research, administration, nursing informatics and much more! To learn more about a rewarding career serving as a Champion for Children, visit www.archildrens.org or call us at (501) 364-1398.

KELLI HOPKINS, Recruiter, Regional Hospitals KEN DUNCAN, Recruiter, Conway Hospital JONI STEPHENSON, Manager APRIL ROBINSON, Recruiter, Little Rock Hospitals WHITNEY BREWER, Recruiter, North Little Rock Hospital Baptist Health Medical Center

SARAH SMITH Health Sciences Coordinator Arkansas State University – Mountain Home ASUMH offers both full-semester and fourweek CNA classes; Practical Nursing classes with two start dates per year; and an LPN/ Paramedic to RN bridge program. Whether you are starting from the very beginning of your nursing career, changing your career path, or wanting to build on your nursing skills, ASUMH can help! Choosing nursing as a career can change the direction of an individual’s life, as well as their family’s lives. Whether it’s starting out as a CNA or changing a field of study from Paramedic bridging over to an RN, ASUMH has great options to change your life. For more information about any of our health care programs, contact Sarah Smith at 870-508-6266, by email at sarahs@asumh. edu, or visit our website at www.asumh.edu.

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NURSES GUIDE 2017

Our belief at Baptist Health is that we are a healing ministry. We provide quality patient care services to all Arkansans with a caring and comforting heart. That is why we are Arkansans’ choice for their health care needs. We have a variety of nursing opportunities, from a Level III NICU to a 90-bed Critical Care area. Baptist Health offers top quality benefits for employees. We look for nurses who think critically and are compassionate and service-oriented. We want to offer a “World Class” environment for everyone. Please apply online at baptist-health.com.

JENNIFER MCDANNOLD Enrollment Coordinator Baptist Health Schools, Little Rock Health care professionals in today’s world must be well-rounded individuals with a commitment to personal and professional excellence. The ideal health care professional has strong critical thinking skills and enjoys continued learning and growth. The individual has a personal belief in citizenship and makes healthy responsible decisions about their lifestyle. Ultimately, being a health care professional is about caring for people, sometimes on their worst day. The ideal health care professional finds self-worth and joy in caring for others and making a positive impact in a patient’s life.

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DEIDRA DILLARD, KASSIDY SIMPSON, DAUSEN DUNCAN; FRONT ROW: GABBY GARRISON AND SAMANTHA HUGGINS Recruiters Arkansas Tech University, Russellville Nurse Journal has listed Arkansas Tech University among the top 1 percent of nursing schools in the Eastern United States. Consistently one of the top five majors among incoming freshmen at ATU, nursing is one of more than 140 academic programs available to students on campuses in Russellville and Ozark. A culture of stackable degrees provides students with access to credentials ranging from Nursing Assistant to Practical Nursing to Registered Nursing through ATU-Ozark. The opportunities continue on the ATU campus in Russellville, where students pursue the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and the Master of Science in Nursing Administration degree. There is also an online learning option for Registered Nurses seeking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Begin your journey at explore.atu.edu. 


NURSING 2017

SHELLEY SHEETS, Human Resources Specialist Conway Regional Health System, Conway At Conway Regional Health System, we are accountable to the community to provide high quality, compassionate health care services. We are very proud to have received numerous awards and quality rankings for the care and compassion provided to our patients. In 2017 we recognized 154 employees as exceptional performers based upon their achievements in the field. We have also been recognized by Arkansas Business as one of the Best Places to Work in Arkansas. We are always looking for exceptional performers who are dedicated to providing excellent care. We offer a smaller nurse-to-patient ratio than can be found in most metro hospitals along with a family atmosphere that is second to none. Positions are available in a variety of areas including Critical Care, Surgery, Oncology, Medical/ Surgical and Women’s Services. If you would like to join the Conway Regional Family, please visit our website at www.conwayregional.org.

JENNIFER YARBERRY

JANICE IVERS

GIGI FLORY

Director of Nursing Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Health care System, Little Rock

Dean of Nursing National Park College, Hot Springs

Nursing Recruiter Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Pine Bluff

When we accept a nursing student in the LPN, RN or LPN to RN programs at NPC we are looking for students who have a proven track record of academic success. We want someone who is nurturing, caring and compassionate along with a desire to “be a nurse.” National Park College Nursing Programs want every student to be successful and we take every admission seriously and want our students to do the same! We need students who can handle the pressure that a career in nursing requires. If you are looking for a nursing program that cares about your success, come to National Park College. For more information on our nursing programs go to www.np.edu, contact Janice at 501-760-4290 or email at jivers@np.edu.

Jefferson Regional Medical Center made a commitment more than 50 years ago to care for the people of Southeast Arkansas. The way in which we provide that care has changed enormously over the years, but the commitment to a healthy community has only become stronger, along with the need for compassionate, qualified nurses. Our service area includes 10 counties and our medical staff represents more than 25 specialties, providing opportunities in many specialized areas of nursing care. Cardiac care, orthopedic surgery, women’s health care, neurosurgery and in-patient rehabilitation are just a few of the areas where nurses have the opportunity to shine at JRMC. We also have a busy Emergency Department and we have been designated as a Level 3 Trauma Center. We offer competitive salaries and benefits, and generous sign-on bonuses. For complete details about nursing opportunities at JRMC call Nurse Recruiter Gigi Flory at 870-541-7774.

Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Health care System is committed to consistently delivering a system of quality behavioral health care with integrity to children and adolescents in concert with parents, caregivers, guardians and community professionals. The team at Pinnacle Pointe Hospital is both passionate and highly experienced. Our dedication to the highest standard of quality helped us attain the prestigious Governor’s Quality Achievement Award. This award recognizes Pinnacle Pointe Hospital’s commitment and practice of quality principles through a thorough process of excellence. Visit our website to apply: pinnaclepointehospital. com/career-opportunities/

ROSE SCHLOSSER, M.ED., Articulation Programs, MSN & DNP Education Counselor SUSAN WOOD, M.S., BSN Education Counselor JESSICA BURKS, M.A., BSN Education Counselor University of Central Arkansas, Conway The University of Central Arkansas School of Nursing is committed to educating students at the undergraduate and graduate levels as leaders in the delivery of quality health care and the advancement of the nursing profession. We offer both online and on-campus programs to accommodate the needs of our diverse student populations: the on-campus BSN, online completion programs RN to BSN, the online MSN with Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator and Clinical Nurse Leader tracks as well as the DNP. Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students must come to campus for a few preplanned events. Whether students are looking for the traditional college experience or to advance their current degree, UCA School of Nursing is an affordable, high-quality option with award-winning results. For more information, please visit uca.edu/nursing. ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES

NURSES GUIDE 2017

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NURSING 2017 SHELLEY AUSTIN, DNP, MNSc, RN Nursing Professor Henderson State University Department of Nursing, Arkadelphia Planning for a professional nursing career starts with a strong foundation in math, biology and chemistry. Whether you are a traditional high school student or a returning second-career student, we are here to help you. HSU’s nursing program provides small classes with generous clinical experiences to assure meeting prerequisite courses and application deadlines. We also offer an online one-year RN to BSN program. More information on our program can be found at hsu.edu/nursing or by contacting Reynolds@hsu.edu.

PATTY MILNER, PH.D. Director of Recruitment and Outreach for Online Programs University of Arkansas, Fayetteville The University of Arkansas offers three online nursing programs; the RN to BSN, the MSN with nurse educator and executive leader concentrations, and the DNP with concentrations in adult/ geriatric acute care nurse practitioner and family practice nurse practitioner. DNP course work is online, and on-campus sessions are required periodically during the program. All fully online students receive in-state tuition. Our programs were designed for the working professional. An online program adviser will work with you from start to finish, assisting you through the program. For more information about UA Online Nursing Programs, please visit online.uark.edu or email me at milner@uark.edu.

JON VICKERS, Academic Counselor ASHLEY BENNETT, Academic Counselor UA Little Rock For nearly 50 years, the UALR Department of Nursing has inspired and guided individuals toward the dynamic profession of nursing. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to improving the health care of all Arkansans by educating professional, thoughtful and compassionate nurses. We offer an Associate of Applied Science (AAS), BSN, LNP/ Paramedic to RN and BSN online completion program. Our advice for students is to take ownership and get as much information as possible about the nursing profession and degree options. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Do this early and often! For more information about one of the top nursing programs in the state, visit: ualr.edu/ nursing or email jmvickers@ualr.edu.

AVA COLEMAN, BS Recruitment Specialist for the College of Nursing University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing, Little Rock UAMS is the only health science center in Arkansas and one of the region’s largest. It includes five colleges (Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health) and a graduate school along with a hospital, statewide network of regional centers, affiliations with Arkansas Children’s hospital and Central Arkansas Veterans Health care System, and seven UAMS institutes where clinical, academic and research resources are focused on specific diseases or conditions. The UAMS College of Nursing provides bachelor’s, master’s (MNSc), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs to more than 800 students. There are online programs to help existing RNs earn their BSN or MNsc. The college is engaged in activities and interprofessional partnerships across all UAMS colleges that promote scholarly excellence, research and service to the university nursing profession and society. For more information on our programs, contact us at 501-686-5224, by email at conadmissions@uams. edu. or visit our website at www.nursing.uams.edu.

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NURSES GUIDE 2017

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LIBBY STELL, RNP, BSN, OCN Nurse Recruiter University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock SUSAN ERICKSON, RN, MNSc, BC-NA, CHCR Senior Nurse Recruiter & Recruitment/Retention Officer Facilitator, PNO Nursing Image/Development Council and Retention Resource Nurses At the heart of patient and family-centered care at UAMS is the belief that nurses and families are partners, working together to best meet the needs of each patient. Excellence in health care happens when we work side by side and honor the expertise each individual brings to each health encounter. Partnerships are strengthened and knowledge shared to provide the highest quality of care. It is what we expect from those who choose a career at Arkansas’s only academic medical center. We also offer unique opportunities combined with salary and benefits, including our 10 percent retirement match and tuition discount for you/your children/spouse plus the personal satisfaction you receive while working at UAMS – it’s hard to beat. That is why more than 11,000 employees enjoy a career for life. To join our team, log onto: nurses.uams.edu or join our Facebook page @ UAMS Nurses.


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NURSING 2017

NURSING

THE CAREER FOR A LIFETIME BY DWAIN HEBDA

N

ursing is a lot of things: demanding, rewarding, exhausting, fulfilling. It’s reassuring a frightened child, sharing a family’s joy and pain, a friendly smile during late-night rounds

KELLEY COOPER

practice partner L&D Triage with UAMS. “What other and heart-pounding adrenaline of emergency room care. profession will allow you to become a military officer and experience a double career, Nurses are the backbone of our health care system and travel to foreign countries, care for patients and meet so many a vocation that provides a multitude of professional options new friends and still have time for other things? and opportunities from traveling the globe to teaching the “I came back to nursing, retrained and am now serving in next generation, right here in Arkansas. a leadership role. My life has been full and fulfilling. If I had to “Nursing is the best career to choose if you like variety, do it again, I’d still choose nursing as my first career.” flexibility and a chance to do so many exciting things in life,” There’s room for everyone and then some, given the critisaid Cheryl J. Washington, EdD, MsED, BSN, RNC-OB, advanced cal shortage of nurses created by the expanding number of

UAMS nursing students practice surgical room techniques in state-of-the-art surroundings.

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NURSES GUIDE 2017

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seniors in American society. “The shortage of perioperative nurses is being driven by a variety of factors,” said Renee Lawrence, advanced practice partner with UAMS. “First, the average age of the working nurse is around 50, and surgical nurses are even older, probably around 55 or older. As Baby Boomers enter retirement, the shortage is expected to grow significantly.” “The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the shortage to grow to over 500,000 by 2022, just to replace retiring nursing and account for the increase in health care access across the nation,” said Ashley York, BSN, RN, a member of the RN faculty at National Park College in Hot Springs. York said the issue isn’t necessarily that nursing colleges aren’t recruiting enough students, in fact they are, but the ability to educate all of those candidates and direct them into areas of greatest need is often a challenge in itself. “Nursing programs struggle to accommodate larger enrollment numbers, and face barriers related to a shortage of qualified nurse educators,” she said. “Health care and educational organizations are responding to the shortages by implementing innovative technologies to assist in increasing faculty and nursing capacities.” Given this situation, it’s not surprising that nurse educators are among those specialties in high demand right now, along with some areas of need that seem to linger year in and year out. “Nurse educators are in highest demand at this time due to the nursing shortage. Nursing is one of the top five fastestgrowing occupations in the U.S., and qualified applicants for nursing programs are being turned away due to a shortage of qualified nurse educators,” said Kelly Quinn, MSN, RN, clinical instructor at the University of Central Arkansas School of Nursing. “Small rural health care facilities have the biggest need for nurses. The reason behind the need is not pay inequality, as some would presume, but due to nursing programs not being widely dispersed geographically, especially at the baccalaureate level.” Another high-demand specialty within nursing is the relatively new nursing informatics field. “Nursing informatics is an up-and-coming field that is in high demand,” York said. “The Association of Perioperative Nursing defines nursing informatics as ‘the use of informa-


NURSING 2017

NURSING NOTES

So, what does it take to build a nursing career that stretches for decades? We asked some longtime nurses the secret to longevity in one of the world’s most demanding professions. “Be aware that you don’t know very much when you start out and that as you work, the book learning will begin to link to the patient and his or her needs. Continue learning, ask questions and be gentle with yourself.” Lori Murray, DNP, RN-BC, assistant director undergraduate studies Eleanor Mann School of Nursing Years in Nursing: 10 “Rev. Cornell Maltbia, chairman of the Conway Regional Health System said, ‘Stay focused on the why, not the what. Why did I become a nurse? To carry out the commandment to ‘love others.’ ” Lori Reynolds, BSN RN OCN Cancer Program Outreach Coordinator Conway Regional Health System Years in Nursing: 23

Cutting edge instruction meets personal attention at University of Arkansas Little Rock’s Department of Nursing. tion and computer technology to support all aspects of nursing practice, including direct delivery of care, administration, education and research.’ With the sky as the limit in technological advances, every health care and educational institute is going to need a nurse or two adequately prepared in nursing technology.” Other strategies that the industry is leveraging to try and fill needs in the field is luring people from other careers to make the switch to nursing, providing incentives to existing nurses to stay in the field past retirement age, or both. There has also been a push for more minority students, to keep pace with the changing demographics within the state. And, as with all high-demand skills, compensation has become a critical element in attracting top talent, resulting in better pay and benefits. “The nursing shortage has helped to create fierce competition for nurses. If the hospital across town is offering more money or a large sign-on bonus, it will attract applicants,” Renee Lawrence said, noting many institutions will now provide tuition assistance or student loan payback. “However, once they have been recruited, retention is the real challenge. Nurses, especially younger ones, do not tend to stay in the same place like they used to.”

MEETING A NEW CHALLENGE: SECOND-CAREER NURSES

T

o all outward appearances, Elvis Opris is not unlike any other first-year BSN student at UAMS College of Nursing. Look a little below the surface, however, and things look radically different. Not only did Opris grow up in Romania, but he was a successful general contractor, shepherd and beekeeper in central Arkansas before enrolling in nursing school. “I was influenced by a mentor to consider nursing as a career, something I had never considered,” he said. “I never really considered a career change that would include additional schooling, mainly because I had already finished my bachelor’s degree as an ESL student, and the prospect of more school with a family including three small children seemed unattainable.” Opris is one of a growing number of nursing students

who are entering the field after having experienced life in other professions. Opris’ classmate, first-year BSN student Patrick Dunlap, came to the program after 24 years of active duty service in the U.S. Air Force. “I wanted to continue to be able to help people and be productive after my time in the service,” he said. “Nursing has been a lifelong interest of mine and seems to be the perfect way to fulfill both of these. My mother was an LPN and would often comment on how helping others through nursing gave her a great deal of personal satisfaction and sense of purpose.” Dunlap’s motivation for getting into the field — a desire to serve others — is common among this class of student. So is the struggle to get back into the swing of classroom education. “The hardest adjustment for me, so far, is simply being back in school full time. Education is hard work, to say the least,” Dunlap said. “I did not have any college credit and had to start at the beginning just like anyone else coming out of high school. It wasn’t always easy being the 43-year-old freshman, but finishing that first year was a huge confidence boost.” The influx of second-career nursing students, many of them older and having not set foot in a classroom for decades, has led many nursing schools to introduce accelerated nurse education programs, which enable students to earn a baccalaureate degree in 12 to 18 months and a master’s degree in two to three years, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Even with these assists, many second-career students endure a substantial culture shock in the transition. J. Denham-Turner, BSN, RN and post BSN-DNP student at UAMS College of Nursing, came to nursing after 27 years as an attorney with a desire to create something lasting through his work. He found a challenge as substantial as any courtroom adversary. “I no longer fit into a category of people with similar experiences. So, essentially I walked alone,” he said. “Most of the people in my nursing studies were 30 years younger than me, usually. I could make friends, and I did however, the wealth of comaraderie that same-generational relation-

“The best advice I can offer a new nurse is to love what you do. Keep a positive attitude, be flexible and open-minded. Set a good example and be a leader. Don’t judge, and be of assistance to others whenever possible. Lots of hugs and chocolate help, too!” Gayle Haushahn, RN UAMS Years in Nursing: 25 “In my life I have learned to appreciate the differences in people I come into contact with. Different from myself and different from each other. I have found that embracing these differences brings joy to my life.” Michelle Newton MSN, RN, incoming director Jefferson Regional Medical Center School of Nursing Years in Nursing: 31 “Always remember why you wanted to be a nurse in the first place. When you are tired and worn out, the patient call light keeps going off, and you just can’t go another second, remind yourself about why you are a nurse. Being a nurse is a calling and a privilege.” Stephanie Thompson, MNSc, APRN, FNP-BC, student UAMS College of Nursing Years in Nursing: 18 “Find sources for enthusiasm and seek out self-care techniques that work for you. Construct 1-year, 5-year and 10-year plans!! Think of nursing as a career, not a job.” Sheila Stroman, Ph.D., RN, asistant professor University of Central Arkansas, School of Nursing Years in Nursing: 40 “Keep your work life and personal life balanced. Get enough rest, play and make sure you have good vacations. I am lucky because I have relatives all around different places in the world that I can go on vacation. I try to have at least one long vacation each year when I get away totally and relax and enjoy myself.” Helen McLennon, RN Arkansas Children’s Hospital Years in Nursing: 41

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NURSES GUIDE 2017

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NURSING 2017 ships have was lost forever to me.” she’s now the incoming director of “Being older also made me feel Jefferson Regional Medical Center incompetent more often when School of Nursing. I did not understand how to do “When I was younger, I was full something. I went from being at of energy and always in a hurry,”she the peak of my career intellectsaid. “I loved to work all the extra wise, to being at the bottom of a shifts I could. Now after 31 years, new career. If I did not have a very I love being productive at a much strong faith, I do not know if I could more measured pace. As I train for have endured.” a new role as the director of the Suzanne Harris, director of mediJRMC School of Nursing, I enjoy cal/surgical and specialty services the clinical days with the students at Conway Regional Medical Center, but am glad they are not 12-hour was also surprised by the personal shifts, three or four times a week.” impact of her new calling. She came Lori Reynolds, cancer program to nursing after nearly a decade outreach coordinator with Conway as a high school English teacher. Regional Health Center, said while “The hardest adjustment is also reduced hours have been helpful, one of the most rewarding parts of her workload hasn’t lessened any being a nurse: Being a nurse never over the 23 years she’s been in the stops,” she said. “Nursing isn’t a job profession. that one leaves when she walks out “I have a lot more responsibility of the building. A nurse carries the now and things are much more job with her everywhere she goes. regimented than when I was young,” She carries it when she sees others she said. “I worked four 10-hour that she has had the privilege of days and now I have decreased taking care of and celebrates their to four nine-hour days, and this recovery, she carries it when she helps. I have had wonderful opJefferson Regional Medical Center nurses train on the latest medical and information technology. mourns the loss of a patient who portunity to work in many areas has lost his or her battle.” of the medical center and I have either due to commitment to the craft or because they find “The hardest adjustment is accepting the blessing of had great opportunity to be a life-long learner in nursing.” it necessary to work. a career that will forever be a part of one’s life, long after Some nurses have found that a change in scenery has “There are so many learning opportunities in nursing; retirement. My previous life has served me by teaching me allowed them to stay in the profession longer. Stephanie so many wonderful experiences that can enrich your life patience, organization, people skills and perseverance. Both of Thompson, MNSc, APRN, FNP-BC, a nurse practitioner and while you are helping others,” said Michelle Newton MSN, my careers have been about helping and serving others, and student at UAMS College of Nursing, has worked in various RN, with Jefferson Regional Medical Center. “This profession there are pieces of teaching that I use every day as a nurse.” settings over the past 18 years, according to the demands can be tough sometimes, but at the end of the day I am so of home and family. THE VALUE OF EXPERIENCE: NURSING glad I am a nurse.” “When I was first working as an LPN, I was working 40VETS STAYING ON LONGER The American Nurses Association reported in 2014 that plus hours a week, had a baby and was beginning to take or all the physical, mental and emotional energy it takes 53 percent of the nurses in the workforce were age 50 or classes for RN school,” she said. “With each job role change, to be successful in nursing, it would seem that most older, so it’s not hard to see why hospitals, clinics and doctors the responsibilities and the stress changed. Life and work longtimers would welcome the opportunity to step out at offices have a vested interest in retaining those workers for experience have allowed me to grow into each job role. retirement age and take it easy. as long as possible. Depending on the employer, this may “Now I am working 40 hours a week in a busy family However, the nursing shortage experienced by most include providing shift flexibility, additional training and practice clinic where I see patients Monday through Friday. hospitals and health systems has created unparalleled need opportunities in different areas. As I have grown older, I am thankful that I am working in a for nurses. As a result, many are staying on the job longer Newton is a prime example; after 31 years in the profession, local clinic so that I am not commuting twice a day.”

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NURSING NOTES

Second-career nurses are a growing presence in nursing schools and the classroom. Here’s some advice from some who are making that journey.

“It is always difficult to accept when, with all of your professional experience and previous degrees, you are thrown into a world in which you know essentially nothing. It took determination and the ability to push through a lot of discomfort early in the process.  Somewhere in the middle of my second semester of nursing school, I began making connections, realizing that I was beginning to think like a nurse and think of myself as a nurse.” Tyler Wakefield, community RN consultant, University of Arkansas, Eleanor Mann School of Nursing Previous career: Qualified Developmental Disabilities Professional

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NURSES GUIDE 2017

“I worked in this field for two years before I decided to go to nursing school. I loved educating patients and families in Arkansas, but I also wanted to provide hands-on care to these patients. “I love my [nursing] job and get the best of both worlds, patient care and education! I don’t regret my previous experience; I think of it as a stepping stone to get to where I am now.” Laura Mayfield MNSc, RN, APRN, FNP-BC, MNSc Clinical Instructor UAMS College of Nursing Previous career: Community Health Educator

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“I feel that having a ‘work family’ is crucial not only to a new nurse but to seasoned nurses as well. I honestly don’t know what I would do without my work family. I have been able to watch my first manager grow into a director and other staff nurses grow into managers. These are the people that you can decompress about work with, as they are the only people who possibly know what you are talking about.” Vickie Lauhon, BSN, RN II, Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit Arkansas Children’s Hospital Previous career: EMT, law enforcement

“It was hard to leave a job that pays decent, steady salary and provides benefits. I’m a single dad of two. Going from 50+k a year to whatever scholarships, grants, and loans I get was a hit. But my kids are seeing the value and possibilities of chasing your dreams. A life without passion is no life at all.” Chet Roberson, Clinical Care Assistant for UAMS UAMS College of Nursing- BSN Student Former career: Appraiser/cartographer for Pulaski County Assessor, bartender


NURSING 2017

UA Little Rock Nursing

Other longtimers report the same hours two continents beginning in her native Great and, if not more responsibilities, certainly Britain and follows a long line of nurses in more challenges with the encroachment her family. of technology into the modern health care “My work life might have changed only in workplace. Gayle Haushahn, RN, with UAMS that I do not do as many hours doing nursing is a prime example. She still works 12-hour as I did before when I worked more overtime.” shifts three days per week, but the substance she said. “I moved to Little Rock in 1990 and of her work has changed worked at Arkansas Children’s The most d ra m at i c a l l y d u e to Hospital ever since. At first compelling reason technology. I worked on the Psychiatric many longtime “It has been a challenge Unit, then when that closed to keep up with technonurses stay on I moved to the Burn Unit.” logical changes,” she said. “I have enjoyed working the job is the “When I entered the nursing on the Burn Unit as I see commitment to profession everything was patients who move from their calling in life, documented on paper. being near death’s door to serve others and The younger generation to being able to walk out to play a role in the of nurses are much more of the unit. I have always healing process. computer-savvy, for sure. enjoyed being a nurse from Personally, I ask plenty of the day I started.” questions from those nurses who are comEven so, McLennon credits some sound puter experts and do not hesitate to ask for coping strategies as key to her longevity in assistance when I need it.” her profession. But by far the most compelling reason “During my working life I tried to stay fit many longtime nurses stay on the job is and emotionally healthy by trying to sepathe commitment to their calling in life, to rate my working life and family life,” she said. serve others and to play a role in the healing “When I leave work, I leave those problems process. Helen McLennon, RN, is in her 41st inside the door and when I get back to work year of nursing, a career that has spanned I leave my other life outside the door.”  n

UA Little Rock offers AAS, BSN, LPN/Paramedic to RN, and online BSN completion degrees. Whether your dream is to become a nurse or you are a veteran healthcare provider looking to advance your career, we have a program that meets your needs.

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NURSING 2017

FINDING WHERE YOU FIT HOW TO GET YOUR NURSING CAREER OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT BY DWAIN HEBDA

T

he constant need for nurses in many parts of the

Students should also look for opportunities to network within the nursing field to put those country has created unparalleled opportunity professional behaviors and technical skills on display. The long-held axiom “It’s not what you for new and veteran nurses alike who virtuknow but who you know,” is as true in landing the first nursing job as it is in any other industry. ally have their pick of working environment. It’s also a prime opportunity to “test drive” certain nursing specialties and working environments. But it doesn’t just happen. Janice Ivers, MSN, RN, CNE, dean “I advise students to seek out per diem jobs and volunteer of nursing at National Park College, said nurses, like any other opportunities in areas they are interested in working in as a professional, need to learn the finer points of networking, nurse,” said Jenny Janisko, MSN, RN, NE-BC, nursing director of professionalism and competence to make the most of availPICU, IMU and sedation services at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. able job opportunities. “Reach out to areas that pique your interest to ask about “I tell students that clinical is like an ongoing job interview,” shadowing opportunities. Follow hospitals on social media to she said. “Students need to demonstrate respect and interest; be more aware of these opportunities as well as programs that always help others, don’t be afraid to ask questions. While in organizations offer. Attend every job fair you can and, while at school be available to step up and help out, volunteer, show those events, ask real questions. A large part of job satisfaction interest and be engaged.” Ivers said most instructors and supervisors are willing to accept that a student or new graduate doesn’t know everything about the role, but they are far less forgiving on matters of professionalism, teamwork and devotion to duty. “Many managers are Baby Boomers and Baby Boomers are notoriously known to be dedicated, loyal, hardworking and determined. Work ethic is a big deal,” she said. “They have no time for lazy nurses with a chip on their shoulder thinking, ‘That is not my job,’ From cleaning up a mess on the floor to feeding a patient and beyond, it is your job.” “Students must always be aware of how they are being perceived by others,”said Debra Cote, associate professor of nursing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. “Foul language and a sloppy physical appearance in a clinical setting or while involved in community activities makes a very poor impression. A potential employer Baptist Health College’s curriculum melds high tech with high touch will write them off the list.” to serve the whole patient. Laura Gillis, MSN, RN, clinical instructor at the University of Central Arkansas School of Nursing said such habits are the natural outgrowth of a mental revolves around making sure you find the right fit.” attitude to do one’s best at all times, an outlook that should be “During nursing school, I was able to tutor fellow students, present on day one of nursing school. shadow different roles including case management, director of “It is important for the new nurse to practice professional nursing, clinical manager and attend a career fair,” said Brittney behaviors learned from day one in nursing school,” she said. Jones, RN-BSN with Baptist Health. “I feel getting involved “Having a professional mindset determines professional behelped me better understand nursing roles and titles within havior. Others notice immature behavior very quickly and it health care. I also feel other nursing professionals interviewing can undermine others’ perception of the new nurse. me were pleased with my knowledge, accomplishments and “It takes a while to build respect from others, but it can be academic status while learning.” destroyed in just a few minutes. Attitude is quickly assessed by As nurses gain more knowledge about various roles and other nurses and it can make or break a new nurse.” organizations, they can start to narrow things down to their

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NURSES GUIDE 2017

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top choices for the first job. Timing is often crucial, said Paula Spells, RNI in the surgery department at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, so make the most of your final year in school. “I would recommend in your last semester to make sure to do your senior internship at the hospital where you hope to be employed,”she said.“This will give the employer an opportunity to get to know you and hopefully remember you once you go to apply at their facility or department. The best advice I would give to get noticed during your internship is to be super outgoing and really take in all the knowledge that they offer you.” Spells also said social media is a good way to network and stay on top of employment opportunities. Students should be aware, however, that social media is a two-way street between potential employees and employers. “Social media, as usual, does play a major part in this,” she said. “Most major employers are going to see how you present yourself outside of work, which is where social media comes into play.” Landing one’s first job is an important first step in a fulfilling career, but just because a nurse isn’t going to class every day doesn’t mean he or she isn’t being graded on their professionalism, even in the early stages of a career. “One make-or-break issue for a new nurse is the support he or she gets from colleagues and nurse managers,”Gillis said.“The new nurse must feel supported from the people he or she works with in order to be successful and content in their new role. One common mistake a new nurse may make is having a‘know-it-all’attitude with co-workers. It is important to approach the first job with an openness to learn and a willingness to work as a team member.” Janisko said a mentor can be invaluable in navigating the early days of a new job, and even if the institutions assigns you one (and especially if they don’t) seek to surround yourself with people who are both knowledgeable and will give it to you straight. “As a new nurse it is important to understand that there is so much that school cannot prepare you for,” she said. “Come with an open mind and a willingness to accept and grow from feedback. A common fear amongst new team members is being perceived as unknowledgeable when they ask questions. A good nurse is a safe nurse and we all learn by asking questions.” “Having both a formal and informal mentor can strengthen the relationships you build with your co-workers as well as your confidence in a new job. Don’t select a mentor because they are your friend. Choose a mentor that will be honest with you, and will push you to grow.” New nurses aren’t expected to know everything, but there


NURSING 2017 are a couple of basic things that they are expected to learn early and get right every time. Among these is punctuality, positive servant attitude and protecting patients’ confidential records. “It is so important to maintain patient confidentiality. I’ve heard so many horror stories of health care workers being sued or even losing their job or credentials due to privacy violations,” said Jones. “It is just not worth the pain and struggle to face this issue. I, like my fellow nurses, have worked too hard for my title and my career to compromise my future.” Jones said where many new nurses get tripped up by not being aware of their surroundings when accessing or viewing patient records and other sensitive data. “During my career, I have experienced family members, friends and others close to the patient attempt to watch me chart, look at telemetry monitoring systems and taking pictures of patient information,” she said. “In these situations you, as a nurse, should explain the reasoning behind achieving full patient privacy.” Violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HPPA) carry serious consequences, including fines, potential lawsuits and, for the person responsible, immediate termination of employment in most cases. The security breach does not have to be intentional and can occur through the most innocent means. “Comments on patient and family Facebook pages that are encouraging can unintentionally reveal HIPAA protected information,” said Janisko. “Taking a photo with a patient you have cared for and posting to your social media site can seem harmless, but again is a HIPAA breach. Make sure you familiarize yourself with your organization’s policies on social media.

My real advice is to just avoid those pitfalls altogether and do not interact with patients or families you care for in the social media world.” If all of this seems like a huge burden, keep in mind nursing is one of the most respected professions out there, a reputation that carries with it the high expectations of the general public for conduct and professionalism that one generation hands down to the next. “According to a Gallup poll, the American people have ranked nurses as the professionals with the highest honesty and ethical standards for the 15th straight year. Trust is the key ingredient to that,” Janice Ivers said. “I tell students that they have chosen a career that puts them in a fishbowl where others are always looking. Not only at work, but during their personal life as well. What you do and how you act matter.”

CREATING YOUR OWN SUCCESS

THREE WAYS TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR NURSING CAREER The many medical specialties that exist give nurses a lot of latitude for customizing their career path. The same is true for work environment and working hours. The following represent a few examples how, according to those who have lived them.

CHOOSING A SHIFT THAT WORKS

L

ike other jobs that deal in the public safety and welfare, nursing has a set of scheduling rules that are different from routine professions. Health care, particularly in hospital settings, is a 24/7 industry and must be staffed accordingly. That said,

there’s room for even the newest team member to work out a schedule that helps them keep all parts of their lives in balance. “The nursing profession offers a multitude of flexibility,” said Leah Varner, RN, BSN with UAMS. “As a new nurse, one can expect to be matched with their ‘right fit.’ In my experience, we request the scheduling preference of the new nurse and match it with the best fit for the department.” Varner said UAMS helps new nurses in this process via its new grad RN residency program, whereby new RNs are oriented to both the Neuro/Medical ICU and the Trauma/ Surgical/CV ICU. After this orientation, the new team member is slotted into a permanent schedule based on their preferences and departmental needs, which can be amended to accommodate life changes. “For years I have been on a 7 a.m. day shift but when my husband chose a second career and started back to school, I switched to a PM shift in order to supplement the family income and still be involved with our son and his school during the week,” she said. ”When this phase is complete, I will then move back to day shift. Nursing allows me this flexibility to accommodate my personal life and still do the profession I love.” Brent Camplain, nurse manager ICU/Rapid Response Team at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, said such flexibility is relative. In his department, all nurses work three 12-hour shifts, but can achieve some flexibility on what days and what day parts those shifts are scheduled. All nurses rotate through a schedule of working a certain number of weekends, too. “I remember when I graduated there was such a thing as a ‘pecking order’ (for scheduling preference),” he said. “It seemed like everyone had to pay their dues on night shift until a day

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• 13


NURSING 2017 position came open. That is not the case in the present times.” The limitations, she said, included proximity to the nearest of more upward mobility which in larger health care systems He said while many people fear having to work night shift, hospital and ambulance, which was 30 miles away and provided may include jobs in system hospitals in other cities or states. just as many see it for its advantages. real challenges in emergencies. Nurses work with the latest medical technology and find more “Night shift is, in general, slower, patients are not coming and Rural hospitals all over the country face the same problem opportunities to become highly specialized in their field. They going to procedures, therapy is not working with the patients when it comes to providing health care, that being attracting are also often closer to institutions of higher education for and there are definitely not any doctors around. Definitely less nurses (and physicians for that matter) to communities which advancing their nursing degree. visitors, too,” he said. “This is great for new RN’s in critical care. often can’t afford to pay as much in salaries or invest in cutting “Disadvantages can include being only one among many It allows them time to think, ask questions of peers, hone their edge facilities and equipment. As a predominantly rural state, new nurses within a large system and less opportunity to get new skills and gain confidence in the care they are providing these factors are among Arkansas’ leading challenges as well. to know patients and their families compared to rural environfor their patients.” Keitha Griffith, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, assistant professor at ments,” Griffith said. “As well, there’s the housing and traffic Joan Tackett, MNSc, RN, APRN, FNP-BC, clinical issues associated with urban living.” instructor with UAMS College of Nursing, said there But what if you wanted to combine the best of are other advantages to working odd hours. both worlds, living in one environment and working “There are advantages to working nights and in another? Thousands of people commute every weekends that outweigh the sacrifices of doing single day, why not a nurse? so,” she said. “There is incentive pay for working the “Being mobile and willing to commute allows night shift and weekends. The night shift may be you more options for employment,” said Dr. Charles somewhat quieter as far as doctors and specialty P. Molsbee, associate professor and chairman of the teams not rounding, however, there still may be University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of as many emergencies and it may not be quieter.” Nursing. “There are parts of the state that the salary This is not to say that working odd hours doesn’t may not be comparable to say, Central Arkansas.” take some adjustment, including getting used to difA nurse’s chosen field of specialty may also dictate ferent sleep patterns and ways to conduct personal whether he or she can practice that type of medicine business outside of work. in their community or if it requires them to make “You learn to schedule appointments early in the drive somewhere else to do what they love. the morning or late afternoon to allow yourself “A willingness to commute or be mobile in the time to sleep,” Tackett said. “Many grocery stores nursing field provides many advantages,”said Teresa are open 24 hours a day, making it convenient for Whited, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, director of MNSc and those working night shifts. There are urgent care specialty coordinator of pediatric nurse practitioner clinics open later that provide an opportunity to (PNP) program at UAMS College of Nursing. “The see a medical professional. Many shifts are 12 hours most notable advantages are unique working enlong, which allows days off during the week as well vironments not available in your home community. and that provides time to care for other needs that “Throughout my career, I have had multiple positake place in the daytime.” tions including being NICU Nurse, a PNP in general Joel Perry, RN with UAMS, said regardless of pediatrics, a PNP both inpatient and outpatient in what shift a nurse is assigned there are some rules pediatric cardiology and a faculty member at two of etiquette that everyone is expected to follow. major universities. Each of these positions has al“It is imperative to be on time, because other lowed me grow as a professional and develop my nurses that worked all day or night cannot just leave leadership skills.” like in other professions. We have to find coverage Such was precisely the case for Kristina Shelton, to take care of the patients,” he said. “Missing work BSN, RN, on faculty at National Park College’s BSN will bring some frustration from your colleagues program. She said she reaped the rewards of working because they will not know if you are reliable. Not at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the only pediatric being on time or missing a shift can delay care to hospital in Arkansas and the only Level 4 NICU in our patients as well and put a huge burden on the state. And, she noticed, many of her fellow colleagues increasing the nurse-to-patient ratio employees were doing the same thing. above our matrix.” On the flip side, driving 100 miles a day, three National Park College students train on advanced simulation mannequins days a week took a toll over time. WORKING IN THE RIGHT ENVIthat provide a variety of hands-on learning scenarios. “The advantages were a career with the type RONMENT of nursing you want to do that you can’t get at the hoosing to work in a small, rural hospital, remain in one of University of Central Arkansas School of Nursing, said small hospital close to home. I was going to a facility that supported Arkansas’ larger health systems in the city or something in towns aren’t without their merits, however. my educational growth,” she said. “Disadvantages would be the between is another important element of building a career “A significant advantage is the opportunity to quickly bedrive time, waking up earlier to get to work, effects on home that fits. come a member of the health care team in small rural hospitals life and being away from family for that extra two hours per Karan Cox, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, CDE, clinical assistant who welcome new registered nurses to their community,” she day on top of the 12-hour shift you worked.” professor/FNP specialty coordinator with UAMS College of said. “Rather than only one specialty, nurses may have variety Pamela Ashcraft said such trade-offs are common, thus Nursing, has done both. of clinical experiences as they assist in different areas of the nurses have to carefully weigh the pros and cons of commuting. “I have worked as a family nurse practitioner in a rural hospital and because there are fewer new nurses, you gain “Know what you are getting into before you agree to take health clinic in a town in the Arkansas Delta,” she said. “It was clinical experiences quickly.” a job that will require you to commute a long distance,” she wonderful to build a relationship with the people in the small In addition, cost of living is generally lower in smaller comsaid. “Not only can a long commute be expensive with gas, community. Besides working in the clinic, I performed school munities and the quality of life may be higher as is the sense of wear and tear on your automobile, et cetera, a long commute physicals as well as presented health-related topics to a local personal satisfaction, particularly if a nurse is returning to his can also have an effect on your entire day by shaping your civic club. There were no other providers in this rural farming or her hometown made better by their expertise. attitude for the day.” area, so much of the health care was entrusted to you.” Urban health care options, meanwhile, offer the advantages “Was it a beautiful day? Where you were able to roll the

C

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NURSING 2017 windows down, relax and enjoy the breeze? Or was there a traffic jam which raised your anxiety level and caused you to be late for work or late getting home? Think about how these encounters might impact your ability to perform your work duties or how they might impact your interactions with your patients.” Some health care systems have developed services for accommodating employees that commute particularly long distances. These benefits vary widely by employer, but are worth exploring. Lynn Storey, RN, has commuted 110 miles one way for almost 30 years and couldn’t have done it without the support of her family and her employer, UAMS. “My sister-in-law and I took jobs here at the same time and commuted together for 25 years,” she said. “I drive 110 miles to work on Monday morning and stay until Wednesday night using the housing UAMS offers. The housing has made it possible for me to continue to work here. I know several nurses who commute and utilize the housing.” Storey is the first to admit this kind of commute isn’t for everybody, but it has meant everything to her career to be able to do so. “One of the advantages of being mobile is working in a hospital where there are so many opportunities for nurses,”she said.“Being away from family for three days is a lot different than being gone only a few hours and not something everyone can do. I have great family support and it has worked for me.”

unfamiliarity with the The advantage of being a travel nurse is specific staff members to improve upon your nursing skills by you will be working experiencing different facilities, different with and there can regions and diverse populations. be some challenges in learning about the specific policies or processes that may affect more experienced as they are expected to your nursing practice at each facility.” come in and contribute right away. Therefore, Cheves said a common misconception they represent a variety of family situations. about travel nurses is that they are younger, “I learned that just as many, if not more, single and therefore able to travel at the drop travel nurses chose to travel with their husof a hat. The truth is, travels nurses are typically bands after their children had moved away

from home and even traveled with their entire families,” she said. She said an open mind, helpful nature and sense of adventure are much more important than age in making the most of the job. “I was fortunate to have the opportunity to live, work and travel to wonderful places and have amazing adventures that a vacation alone just can not provide,” she said. “Travel nursing provides an opportunity to meet amazing people that you would never likely crossed paths with otherwise.”  n

College of Education & Health Professions

TRAVEL NURSING: PASSPORT TO THE WORLD

I

ndividuals who are looking for adventure and a real change of pace might consider a role as a travel nurse. This professional contracts to work in a specific facility or in a specific unit or group of units and can be deployed across the country or around the world to work for a specified period of time. Travel nurses are often used in situations where a health system is experiencing a severe shortage of nursing and is bringing in an experienced professional as a stop-gap measure. Angie Cheves, MSN, RN, CCRN, pursued this career path before returning to Arkansas where she is now a clinical instructor with University of Central Arkansas School of Nursing. “The advantage of being a travel nurse is to improve upon your nursing skills by experiencing different facilities, different regions and diverse populations,” she said. “It also provides a wonderful opportunity for nurses to travel to different areas and regions to experience life and adventures without having a long-term commitment to a specific area or facility.” “The disadvantages can be that you are the new person on the unit and you may not know many people or be familiar with your surroundings when you first come to a new assignment,” she said. “There is an

nurse.uark.edu online.uark.edu/nurse The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program, the Master of Science in Nursing degree program and the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education Washington, D.C., 202-887-6791. ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES

NURSES GUIDE 2017

• 15


DEGREES OF NURSING: GUIDE TO NURSING C ARKANSAS COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY

YEARS/PUBLIC PRIVATE

DEGREE OFFERED

LENGTH OF PROGRAM

LIVING ARRANGEMENTS

AID DEADLINE

BACCALAUREATE Arkansas State University - Jonesboro • 870-972-3074 (nursing) • 870-972-3024 (admissions)

4 yr public

Traditional BSN, LPN-BSN, 2nd Degree Accelerated BSN, Online RN to BSN

varies

July 1st; Online students pay apply year around

Arkansas Tech University, Russellville • 479-968-0383 Harding University, Searcy • 1-800-477-4407, 501-279-4682 Henderson State University, Arkadelphia • 870-230-5015

4 yr public 4 yr private 4 yr public

BSN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, RN to MSN BSN, MSN FNP, Post Graduate BSN (traditional); RN to BSN online; RN to BSN online enrollment both fall and spring; LPN to BSN on campus

Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia • 870-235-4040

4 yr public

BSN, Online RN-BSN Completion

BSN-4yrs, RN to BSN-1yr, MSN-2yrs BSN 4 yrs; MSN FN - 2yrs, PG - 2yrs Only 2 semesters for the Online RN to BSN degree and 4 yrs for the Traditional BSN and LPN to BSN on Campus 4 yrs BSN, 1-4 yrs online RN-BSN Completion program

on campus housing for Jonesboro; off campus for online RN-BSN on campus housing on campus housing on campus housing on campus housing

July 1st

University of Arkanasas, Fayetteville • 479-575-3904

4 yr public

BSN, RN-BSN (online program), MSN (online program), DNP (online program)

on campus housing for BSN students

March 15th

Univeristy of Arkansas, Little Rock, Department of Nursing, Little Rock • 501-569-8081

4 yr public

on/off campus housing

April 1st

University of Central Arkansas, Conway • 501-450-3119

4 yr public

on campus housing available

July 1st

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith • 479-788-7841, 1-888-512-LION University of Arkansas at Monticello • 870-460-1069 University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing, Little Rock • 501-686-5224

4 yr public 4 yr public 4 yr public

4 years for BSN, 3-5 semesters RN to BSN, 2 years part-time MSN, 3 years full-time / 4 years part-time post-BSN-DNP, 2 years part-time post-MSN-DNP BSN, RN-BSN Completion 7 semester BSN, 3 semester RN to BSN Completion BSN, RN to BSN, RN to BSN/MSN, MSN (Family Nurse Practitioner), MSN (Adult/ BSN 4 yrs, RN to BSN 12 mos 100% online, Gero Nurse Practitioner), MSN (Clinical Nurse Leader), MSN (Nurse Educator MSN varies, PMC varies, DNP 2yrs with Clinical Specialty), & DNP BSN 4 yrs for BSN/Varies for RN-BSN AASN (LPN-RN), BSN, RN-BSN, LPN-BSN 2 to 4 yrs BSN, MNSc, PhD, DNP. Post Masters options available. BSN generic: 2 full calendar years/ RN to BSN: 1 yr full time/ MNSC, DNP & PhD: students have up to 6 yrs to complete degree requirements.

on campus housing on campus housing on campus housing

Priority Oct. 1st contact financial aid (870) 460-1050 varies, visit nursing.uams.edu. Click on scholarships

ASSOCIATE DEGREE Arkansas Northeastern College, Blytheville • 870-824-6253 • Paragould • 870-239-3200 • Burdette • 870-563-5110 Arkansas State University - Jonesboro • 870-972-3074 (nursing) • 870-972-3024 (admissions)

2 yr public

AAS Nursing

2 year

commuter campus

Priority April 15

4 yr public

varies

on campus housing for Jonesboro

July 1st

Arkansas State University - Mountain Home • 870-508-6266

2 yr public

D.N.P., M.S.N., B.S.N., AASN (LPN to AASN and (new) Online LPN to AASN offered at A-State Jonesboro, Traditional and LPN to AASN offered at ASU-Beebe, ASU Mid-South, and ASU-Mountain Home) AAS in RN- LPN/Paramedic to RN

commuter campus

Nov. 1

Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus, Ozark • 479-667-2117 College of the Ouachitas, Malvern • 800-337-0266 ext 1200

public 2 yr public

AAS Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing (PN), Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (RN), Certified Nursing Assistant, Medication Administration Program

30 hrs pre-req courses, plus 1 yr LPN/ Paramedic, Plus 1 yr RN varies 1-3 semesters

commuter campus commuter campus

Priority April 15 open

East Arkansas Community College, Forrest City • 870-633-4480 Mississippi County Community College, Blytheville • 870-762-1020 National Park College, Hot Springs • 501-760-4290 North Arkansas College, Harrison • 870-743-3000

2 yr public 2 yr public 2 yr public 2 yr public

AASN AAS in Nursing AS in Nursing AAS in Nursing-traditional. LPN, LPN-RN

2 yrs 2 yrs 2 yrs RN-2 yr; LPN-RN-1yr; PN-1yr

commuter campus commuter campus commuter campus commuter campus

April 15th Priority April 15 - Rolling open Pell Grant June 30

Northwest Arkansas Community College, Bentonville • 479-636-9222, 800-995-6922

2 yr public

AAS, RN

68 credit hours

commuter campus

June 1st and November 1st

Ozarka College, Melbourne • 870-368-7371 Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, Helena, Dewitt, Stuttgart • Helena 870338-6474 x1254; DeWitt 1-870-946-3506 x1611; Stuttgart 1-870-673-4201 x1809 Southeast Arkansas College, Pine Bluff • 870-543-5917 University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Department of Nursing, Little Rock • 501-569-8081

2 yr public 2 yr public

AAS in RN AAS, technical certificate/PN

12 mos AAS 63 credit hrs, PN 42 credit hrs

commuter campus commuter campus

2 yr public 4 yr public

AAS: RN, Generic RN & LPN/Paramedic to RN. Technical Certificate: PN AAS/LPN to RN/BSN

PN-1 yr, Generic RN-5 Semesters 4 semesters

commuter campus on/off campus housing

none Federal and state dedadlines observed. open April 1st

University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville • 870-612-2000, 800-508-7878

2 yr public

AAS-Generic RN, AAS-LPN-to-RN Online or Traditional, TC-Practical Nursing

commuter campus

varies

University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana • 870-777-5722 Baptist Health College Little Rock • 501-202-6200, 800-345-3046

2 yr public private, faithbased

Associate/RN diploma/PN, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing/RN

commuter campus commuter campus

July 15th March 1st priority

Jefferson Reg. Med. Center School of Nursing, Pine Bluff • 870-541-7858 PRACTICAL NURSING Arkansas Northeastern College, Blytheville • 870-824-6253 • Paragould • 870-239-3200 • Burdette • 870-563-5110 Arkansas State University - Beebe • 501-882-8822 Arkansas State University - Mountain Home • 870-508-6266 Arkansas State University - Newport • 870-680-8710 Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus, Ozark • 479-667-2117 ASU Technical Center, Jonesboro • 870-932-2176 Baptist Health College Little Rock • 501-202-6200, 800-345-3046 Black River Technical College, Pocahontas • 870-248-4000 ext. 4150

private

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing

AAS-Generic RN 16mos, ASS-LPN-to-RN 12 mos, TC-Practical Nursing 11mos 12 months (excludes prerequisites) RN traditonal track 3 semesters + general education courses PN 1yr. RN Accelerated 1yr (LPNs or Paramedics). 79 weeks

off campus only

none

public

Technical Certificate of Practical Nursing

13 months

commuter campus

Priority April 15th

public public public public public private 2 yr public

Certificate LPN Technical certificate in PN Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing AAS in Allied Health-Practical Nursing LPN diploma/PN, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing/RN AAS/RN, Certificate/PN, Certificate of Proficiency/Nursing Assistant

commuter campus commuter campus commuter campus commuter campus commuter campus commuter campus commuter campus

varies varies contact financial aid Priority April 15 none Priority March 1st contact financial aid office

College of the Ouachitas, Malvern • 800-337-0266 ext 1200

2 yr public

commuter campus

Spring-November;Summer-April

Cossatot Community College of the UA, De Queen, Nashville • 870-584-4471, 800-844-4471

2 yr public

Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing (PN), Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (RN), Certified Nursing Assistant, Medication Administration Program LPN

11 mos 11 mos 11 mos 3 semesters 11 mos 2 semester PN AAS/RN 3 semesters, Certificate/PN 3semesters, Certificate of Proficiency/Nursing Assistant 5 weeks. 1-3 semesters

commuter campus

varies

Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute • Forrest City • 870-633-5411

public

LPN

De Queen 11 mos Day Program, Nashville 18 mos Evening Program LPN: 40 wks

commuter campus

National Park College, Hot Springs • 501-760-4160 Northwest Technical Institute, Springdale • 479-751-8824

Public public

Certificate in Practical Nursing diploma/PN

commuter campus commuter campus

Ozarka College, Melbourne • 870-368-7371 University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College, North Little Rock • 501-812-2200

2 yr public 2 yr public

Technical Certificate in LPN, LPN-RN track offered Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing/PN

11 mos FT 3 sem. & 1 Summer session (includes Pre-Reqs) 11 mos. track or 18 mos. Track 11-month traditional track/22-month non-traditional track

Please call 870.633.5411 for more information none July 1/Fall, December 1/Spring

commuter campus commuter campus

none April 15 for upcoming fall semester

University of Arkansas Rich Mountain, Mena • 479-394-7622

2 yr public

certificate/CAN, LPN, RN

11-12 mos

commuter campus

varies, contact financial aid office

SAU Tech, Camden • 870-574-4500

2 yr public

Technical Certificate

11 mos

N/A

South Arkansas Community College, El Dorado • 870-864-7142, 870-864-7137 University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology, Crossett • 870-364-6414

2 yr public 2 yr public

ADN,LPN Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing

11 mos 11 mos

commuter campus and on-campus commuter campus commuter campus

University of Arkansas Comm. College at Morrilton • 501-977-2000

2 yr public

prior to semester

2 yr public

PN is 12 months; RN is 12 months after prerequisites are met 10.5 or 12 months (excludes prerequisites)

commuter campus

University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana • 870-777-5722

Practical Nursing (PN) Technical Certificate; Registered Nursing (RN) Associate of Applied Science degree certificate/PN

commuter campus

July 15th

16 •

NURSES GUIDE 2017

ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES

varies February 1st June

June 1, November 1, April 1 varies

To compile this, forms were sent to every qualified college and university with instructions to return by a specified deadline. Those schools not meeting the deadline were repeated from


COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE

REQUIRED EXAMS

APPLICATION DEADLINE

COMMENTS/HOME PAGE ADDRESS

February 15th

ACT, SAT, COMPASS, or ASSET; HESI A2 Nursing Admission Exam

varies

Nursing programs are accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. www.astate.edu

varies Rolling varies

BSN-ACT or COMPASS, TEAS, RN to BSN-None, MSN-GRE or MAT ACT or SAT ACT, SAT, or COMPASS

March 1st and October 1st, other programs vary Rolling no deadline for the Online RN to BSN and Feb 1 for the Traditional BSN and LPN to BSN

RN to BSN can be completed in as little as 1 year. Excellent Faculty. www.atu.edu/nursing Quality nursing education with a focus on Christian service and professionalism. www.harding.edu The school with a heart. Small classes. CCNE Accredited. www.hsu.edu

Priority March 15, Final August

ACT, TEAS at least 60%

www.saumag.edu/nursing

November 15th

SAT, ACT, GRE for the MSN and BSN-DNP

BSN Spring: Jan. 15-Mar. 1 for Fall Admission, Sep. 10 - Oct. 31 for Spring Admission; RN-BSN Completion Program Aug. (prior to classes beginning for Fall Admission, Jan. (prior to classes beginning for Spring Admission) Varies

February 1st

ACT/SAT for students with less than 12 credits.

Rolling

February 15 - University Scholarships | March 9 - Foundation Scholarships

No entrance exam required for nursing major.

varies by program, see website for dates

BSN completion for current RNs or recent graduates of an accredited nursing program. UA-Little Rock students can Ladder into the online BSN and graduate within 4 years. www.ualr.edu/nursing Student-centered, NCLEX-RN 1st time pass rates are consistently above state and national average. All programs are CCNE Accredited. www.uca.edu/nursing

June 1st March 1st varies, visit nursing.uams.edu click on scholarships

ACT/Accuplacer Entrance TOEFL for int’l students, PhD-GRE, ATI TEAS V for BSN applicants.

Oct 1st for Spring/ March 1st for Fall March 1st BSN generic: Mar. 1/ RN to BSN: Jan. 1, Mar. 1, Jun. 1, Sept. 1, Nov. 1/ MNSc: Sept. 1 & Feb. 1/ PhD: Mar.1, Jun. 15, Nov. 15/ DNP-Mar. 1/BSN to DNP: Feb 1

RN-BSN is an Online Completion Program. Http://health.uafs.edu/programs/rn-to-bsn; health.uafs.edu Achieve your nursing goals with us. http://www.uamont.edu/pages/school-of-nursing/degree-programs/ conadmissions@uams.edu • www.nursing.uams.edu

Priority April 15

ACT, SAT, COMPASS, or ACCUPLACER and PAX-RN

RN- March 31

ANC offers the RN, LPN, and LPN to RN programs of study. www.anc.edu

February 15th

ACT or SAT or COMPASS or ASSET; HESI A2 Nursing Admission Exam

varies

varies

ACT, ACCUPLACER plus HESI LPN-ADN or HESI EMS-ADN

Oct. 15

The mission of the School of Nursing is to educate, enhance and enrich students for evolving professoinal nursing practice. Nursing programs are accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. www.astate. edu Application packet and program requirements online. www.asumh.edu

varies Fall-May1, Spring-Dec 1

Accuplacer, ACT COMPASS/ACCUPLACER for the PN Program & HESI for RN Program

varies Priority April 15 open June 15th

ACT, ACCUPLACER / Nursing Pre-entrance exams PAX-RN ACT, SAT or College Entry Exam, & TEAS ACT, COMPASS

March 15th, October 1st-PN; March 15-RN 2nd Friday in Sept. for Jan. addmittance; 2nd Friday in Feb. For May admittance into RN Program. 2nd Friday in Oct. for Jan. admittance & 2nd Friday in Mar. for PN Program varies March 31st First Monday in March varies with program

April 1st

HESI A2

Track I: May 1st, Track II: Dec. 1st, LPN to RN: Nov. 1st

April 1st none

NACE test Nelson Denny Reading Test 10th grade level for ADN; None for PN admission. ACT, COMPASS, PAX for PN,KAPLAN Admission Exam ACT/SAT/Compass for students with less than 12 credits.

Aug. 31/Spring entry (application window: Jan 1- Aug 31) RN June 1st, PN June 1st or Oct 1st

March 1- High school Academic; July 15- Others; Nursing Scholarship- Dec. 1 April 15 and November 15 varies

ASSET, ACT, SAT or ACCUPLACER, and KAPLAN Nurse Entrance Test

TC-PN and AAS-Generic RN May 1; AAS-LPN-to-RN July 15

ACT or ACCUPLACER or LPN license ACT or SAT

August 31st RN traditional track/PN program: July 1st & December 1st , RN Accelerated: December 1st

none

ACT

Oct. 15 for Jan. class; Apr. 15 for June class. $35 application fee.

www.jrmc.org/schoolofnursing

Priority April 15th

ACT, SAT, COMPASS, or ACCUPLACER and PAX-PN

PN-March 31st

Variety of clinical experiences. www.anc.edu

June 15th varies varies varies none varies April 15th

ACCUPLACER and WONDERLIC ACT, ACCUPLACER plus HESI A2 Accuplacer, ATI TEAS TEAS ASSET, NET ACT or SAT ACT or Accuplacer for BRTC Admission and NA Applicants; TEAS for PN Applicants, NACE for RN Applicants.

Application packet and program requirements are online. www.asub.edu Application packet and program requirements online. www.asumh.edu Application packet and program requirements online. www.asun.edu Clinical experience in hospitals of varying size, physicians’ offices and geriatric facilities. www.atu.edu/ozark Combines classroom instruction with clinical experience. Graduates eligible to take NCLEX. www.bhclr.edu BRTC: A college of vision. BRTC has a 95% plus boards pass rate. www.blackrivertech.org

Spring-November;Summer-May

HESI Entrance Exam

Call for further information. May 15, Oct 15 August class (Newport/Jonesboro)-June 1, January class (Marked Tree)- Oct 15 March 15th, October 1st June 1 & November 1 Dec 1st & June 1st NA - Contact Nursing department, PN April 1 for following fall acceptance and October 31 for following spring acceptance, August 31 annually for following Spring RN acceptance. 2nd Friday in Sept. for Jan. addmittance; 2nd Friday in Feb. For May admittance

June 15th

Accuplacer, TEAS

Day Program-De Queen March 1st, Evening Program-Nashville August 31st

Prerequisites required prior to admission. www.cccua.edu

varies

ACCUPLACER

www.crti.ar.tec.us

none June 1/Fall, December 1/Spring

College Entry Exam, TEAS NET, COMPASS

CRTI is currently in the process of merging with East Arkansas Community College. Call for more information. First Monday in March November 1st

April 1st varies

PAX Test ACT or ACCUPLACER and Kaplan Admission Test

April 1/Fall entry, November 1/Spring entry April 15th

Nov. 1 - Priority; Apr.1 - Pending funds available; Foundation Scholarship Deadlines: FALL - Apr. 1 & Jul. 30; Spring -Dec. 1 March 1st

PSB, NCLEX, ACT, COMPASS

LPN-March, RN-August

Providing life-changing experiences through education. www.ozarka.edu Call the Allied Health Advisor to discuss eligibility requirements. www.uaptc.edu/programs_of_study/nursing/ practical_nursing.asp. Allied Health Advisor: 501-812-2745. Allied Health Administrative Specialist: 501-812-2834. INTERNET HOME PAGE ADDRESS - www.uaptc.edu www.uarichmountain.edu

ASSET. TEAS. Practical Nursing

March 31st

Two Applications required: admissions and nursing. www.sautech.edu

Priority April 1st March 1st

ACT, ASSET, or COMPASS ACT, COMPASS, ASSET, or SAT and TEAS

open April 15th

April 1st

TEAS, NACE

PN deadlines are Oct. 1 & Mar. 1; RN dealine is Aug. 31

April 15 and November 15

ACT or ACCUPLACER

SouthArk: Where students come first. www.southark.edu Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. www. uamont.edu/uamctc Enrollment in PN program on Morrilton campus limited to 24 in spring semester and summer and to 8 in Clinton during spring semester. Enrollment in RN program limited to 48 for classes beginning each January. www.uaccm.edu www.uacch.edu

none February 1st

m last year. Every attempt is made to gather and verify the information.

We offer generalist and advanced nursing degree programs to prepare nurses to meet the health needs of the public in an ever-changing health care environment. The DNP offers two options: family nurse practitioner and acutegeriatric nurse practitioner. nurs.uark.edu

Second Friday in March Priority Application Deadline Feb 28/ Applications accepted until class full.

May 1st and November 1st *** for Basic nursing education; Varies with previous coursework or nursing license; MSN program = 2 yrs.

www.atu.edu/ozark www.coto.edu for additional information. Allied health program offering RN-Nursing degree (basic students, LPN completion). www.eacc.edu www.mccc.cc.ar.us Options for LPN and new High School seniors. www.np.edu Northark’s students receive excellent healthcare education leading to rewarding careers in nursing. www.northark. edu/academics/areas-of-study/health-and-medical/index The college of the NWA community, member of Northwest Arkansas Nursing Education Consortium. www.nwacc. edu/academics/nursing. The NWACC Nursing program is ARSBN approved and ACEN accredited Providing life-changing experiences through education. www.ozarka.edu RN Program, ACEN accredited. www.pccua.edu Changing lives…one student at a time! www.seark.edu LPN/Paramedic to RN (1 year). Traditional AAS (2 years). Accelerated AAS (18 months). See above for BSN information. www.ualr.edu/nursing Prerequisite courses and KAPLAN entrance testing must be completed prior to entry into a nursing program. www. uaccb.edu www.arnec.org, www.uacch.edu www.bhclr.edu

www.coto.edu

Do you want to make a difference? Then nursing is for you! www.np.edu Bilingual scholarships available- www.nwansged.org

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NURSES GUIDE 2017

• 17


NURSING 2017

DO YOUR HOMEWORK WHEN CHOOSING A NURSING PROGRAM BY DWAIN HEBDA

S

orting through the many choices for nursing education

experiences for students. “UAMS is the only BSN program in Arkansas is a time-consuming process, but it is an exin the state that takes students to the gross anatomy lab to ercise not to be taken lightly. The right program will set learn about health assessment with cadavers,” he said. “We have a nursing student up for early success in this demanding implemented learning communities that help put students into field and open the door to a long and fulfilling career. peer mentoring groups to help with the social aspects of school “Most students are interested in financial aid options, as well as retention. We also require iPads for all of our students tuition, schedule, pass rates and job placement. Those are all and have them use them in both clinical and the classroom to very important, but I would also ask about culture, class size, help them learn to embrace technology.” reputation, opportunities and teaching philosophy,” said Jon “Finally, we have started an exchange program with a nursVickers, academic counselor with University of Arkansas Little ing school in Taiwan and are looking to expand that program Rock Department of Nursing. in the next few years.” “It is very helpful to do some self-reflection. What kind of As with all higher education, financial aid is of paramount student are you? What do you need from your school to be importance to most students and their families. While all colsuccessful? What are some things that could possibly prevent leges and universities offer some form of general financial aid, you from graduating? This makes it easier to find a school that some schools have scholarship monies and other programs fits your individual needs.” earmarked specifically for nursing students. Don’t be afraid to A foundational element to look for in a nursing school is be blunt when inquiring how your school of choice is willing accreditation, said Janice Ivers, MSN, RN, CNE, Dean of Nursing to invest in your success through financial aid. with National Park College. “UA-Little Rock offers over $500,000 in scholarship and “Participating in an accreditation process gives a program sponsorship money to new nursing students every year,”Vickers the opportunity to validate that it is committed to providing said. “This year we announced a new Pathway Program, made a quality nursing program,” she said. “A nationally accredited possible by a partnership between UA-Little Rock and CHI St. school like National Park College requires that a nursing program continually assesses and makes improvements in the educational quality of the nursing program based on data. This is done by evaluating specific standards and criteria, which include mission, faculty, students, curriculum, resources and outcomes.” Another particularly important measurement of a school’s success is its pass rate on the NCLEX licensing exam as well as graduation and placement rates. Mark Tanner, BSN program director at UAMS College of Nursing, said it’s also a good idea to inquire about available academic help. “UAMS is excellent in all of these areas,” he said.“We have a 95 percent pass rate for NCLEX the last reported year and we have an academic coach who helps students who may be struggling to ensure that our attrition rates stay as low as possible.” Tanner also noted the school has invested heavily in resources to help Janice Ivers of National Park College leads nursing students through an exercise. provide the widest range of educational

18 •

NURSES GUIDE 2017

ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES

Vincent which pays the tuition and fees of nursing school for 40 new students each year. “Pathway students will work as registered nurses at CHI St. Vincent for two years after graduation. This unique program relieves a major financial burden on students, allowing UA-Little Rock to generate a larger number of qualified nurses to meet the demand in Central Arkansas.” “At National Park College there are lots of possibilities for financial aid including the awarding of over $65,000 in nursing scholarships annually,” Ivers said. “Recently, CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs and National Park College announced a partnership where CHI SVHS will provide financial support to selected students that commit to work for CHI SVHS upon completion of the nursing program.” Quality of the instruction is of paramount importance and students should ask about the percentage of instructors that hold Ph.D.s in their respective fields as well as what percentages of the teaching force are full time instructors at schools they are considering. “Faculty credentials and number of full time faculty in relationship to part-time faculty are critical,” said Rebecca Burris, Ph.D., RN, professor and department chair at Arkansas Tech University. “You are looking for a school where at least one-quarter of faculty are doctorally prepared. You also want a school where a majority of the faculty are full time, not part time or adjunct. Finally, look for a wide variety of clinical sites and practice laboratories that are up-to-date. “At Arkansas Tech we are committed to student success with over half of our full-time faculty holding either a Ph.D. or DNP and an additional four faculty members working on a doctoral degree. All of our classroom instruction and the majority of our clinical is done by full-time faculty. ATU also has a large skills lab, a state-of-the-art simulation lab and two health assessment labs.” It’s also important to select a school that can accommodate your individual educational needs both for your initial degree as well as advanced degrees in accordance with your career goals. UAMS College of Nursing, for instance, supports a range of degree programs from BSN through Ph.D., and offers a broad range of specialties throughout. “The master’s program has multiple specialties including Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental


NURSING 2017

KELLEY COOPER

Health Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology UAMS, I have been able to develop a network of Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Acute Care professionals and explore best practice options Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, among others,” said through attendance at external conferences Joan Tackett, MNSc, RN, APRN, FNP-BC, MSNc such as Magnet, Sigma Theta Tau International clinical instructor for UAMS College of Nursing. Honor Society of Nursing and Southern Nursing “The curriculum prepares the student for their Research Society. role as a nurse by staying up-to-date on research “As well, I’ve participated in on-campus opporand evidence-based medicine and correlating tunities sponsored by UAMS like Nurse Advisory that within the classroom.” Board presentations and the annual Arkansas In a growing number of colleges, online Nursing Research Conference. These types of learning has become an important component development opportunities have expanded my of the educational process. knowledge base and enabled me to bring new “Our program is 100 percent online and ideas and information back to UAMS.” offers in-state tuition, thereby saving students Finally, make sure to inquire about mentorboth time and money,” said Elizabeth McKinley, ing and job shadowing opportunities. These academic coordinator, RN-BSN program, University benefit the student and beginning nurse by of Arkansas Eleanor Mann School of Nursing. providing guidance and support during the “We use Quality Matters to design our online critical early years. courses. This ensures that course design is of Annette Gartman, MSN, RN, clinical InstrucTeamwork and peer-to-peer support are high priorities at UAMS in Little Rock. high quality and standard across our program. tor with University of Central Arkansas, School Online simulations and interactive activities are of Nursing, has taken advantage of both job used to promote active learning in courses. a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society shadowing and mentors since high school. “In addition, the university has a dedicated academic coorfor nursing,” said Burris. “The SNA is very actively involved in “Job shadowing gave me a real-life view of the role allowdinator to help each student make a plan that works for them, many community service projects which utilize skills they have ing me to see daily tasks involved,” she said. “Job shadowing balancing work, life and school demands.” learned in community health and other courses. Additionally, provided the opportunity to evaluate my fit for the role and Prospective students should also ask about various available it looks good on the graduate’s resume.” instilled confidence in my career decisions and goals.” organizations and honoraries. Not only do these provide social, Tammy Jones,Ph.D., RN, NE-BC, associate chief nursing officer “Mentoring is vital to success as a nurse. The challenges a educational and volunteer opportunities, but more importantly with UAMS Integrated Clinical Enterprise, said the benefits of nurse faces daily can be difficult to navigate for a new nurse. Havthey help develop leadership skills that are useful when it professional groups don’t end at graduation. ing a mentor to guide and support your decision-making and comes time to land that all-important first job after graduation. “One of the great benefits of working in an academic thought processes can make the transition to practice much “Arkansas Tech has a student nurses association (SNA) and institution is the support for lifelong learning,” she said. “At smoother and more successful.”  n

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NURSES GUIDE 2017

• 19


NURSING 2017

NURSING SPECIALTY SPOTLIGHT PROCEDURE AREA/SPECIALTY:

Periodically there are specialty classes offered by the Society for WHAT IT IS: Apheresis is the term used for Apheresis and machine manufacblood separation outside the body. Most turers for more specialized training. of our procedures involve collecting the The nurse must be able to perform patient’s blood into a centrifuge where it is the procedures independently separated into cell layers for either collection with confidence before they are or exchange purposes, such as stem cell colconsidered part of the staff. There lection for patients with multiple myeloma or is a special certification that can lymphoma, red blood cell exchange for sickle be obtained by exam from the cell disease, plasma exchange for patients American Society for Apheresis, and with circulating antibodies or proteins that we are all ACLS (Advanced Cardiac need to be removed. Life Support) trained. WHAT IT TAKES: To be a successful apheresis WHY I DO IT: Apheresis is very Cynthia Knox nurse you must be flexible. You must be able technical and challenging. The thing to use critical thinking to assess the patient’s I like most about it is the interaction lab and physical status to ensure a safe outcome for the with the patients. Some of our procedures, the patients patient. The apheresis RN must be able to troubleshoot the return every week for several months and you really get specialized machines and be able to handle any multitude to know them and their families. We do much more than of alarm situations and act quickly when they assess the just the procedure. We become their support system and patient has made a critical change in status. their cheerleaders when they become frustrated with their WHAT TRAINING IS REQUIRED: Typical orientation for long-term illnesses and treatments. an RN with critical care experience is at least eight weeks. Cynthia Knox, Rn, UAMS

APHERESIS

PROCEDURE AREA/SPECIALTY:

PSYCHIATRIC-MENTAL HEALTH NURSE PRACTITIONER (PMHNP)

WHAT IT IS: PMHNPs are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with knowledge, skills and abilities to provide comprehensive mental health care to assess, diagnose and treat individuals across the lifespan with psychiatric and substance use disorders. Unique to PMHNPs is that they are trained to provide the full scope of behavioral health services that includes both medication management and psychotherapy. WHAT IT TAKES: Along with a broad base of knowledge in the basic and behavioral sciences, PMHNPs need empathy, compassion and good communication and relationship skills. It’s also imperative to understand that “Whole health begins with mental health,” with the ability to leave judgment and bias at the door and know how to relate and communicate. WHAT TRAINING IS REQUIRED: PMHNPs are registered nurses (RNs) with advanced education at the master’s or doctoral level. PMHNP graduate programs vary, but typically take two to four years to complete, depending upon part versus fulltime and master’s versus doctoral

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NURSES GUIDE 2017

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NURSING 2017 degree. Individuals must pass a certification exam to be credentialed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a PMHNP. Thereafter, they are licensed by and receive prescriptive authority from their corresponding State Board of Nursing. WHY I DO IT: I have always thought the mind was fascinating, and I enjoy trying to understand why people do what people do. I think it started when I read “Sybil” in the seventh grade; I knew then that I wanted to work in mental health. Individuals with mental illness are some of the most underserved in our nation, and if I can provide them an ear to listen, words of encouragement and some hope for recovery, I’ll continue to use my skillset and my voice to be an advocate for their wellness. Sara Jones, Ph.D., APRN, PMHNP-BC, assistant professor, specialty coordinator: PMHNP Program, UAMS School of Nursing

operating room you must be able to multitask. You need to be able to think ahead and be proactive in the needs of the operation. Excellent communication skills are very important when communicating with the surgeon, other staff members and also the patient’s family while the patient is still under anesthesia. To work in the operating room as a circulating nurse you must be a registered nurse. WHAT TRAINING IS REQUIRED: Baptist Health has an extensive orientation program for operating room nurses once they are employed.  Depending on your years of OR experience, you may become nationally certified. Certification is recognized by employers and demonstrates a standard of knowledge and experience in perioperative nursing. After working as an operating nurse for two

PROCEDURE AREA/SPECIALTY:

ADULT/GERONTOLOGY ACUTE CARE NURSE PRACTITIONER (AGACNP)

PROCEDURE AREA/SPECIALTY:

OPERATING ROOM NURSE 

WHAT IT IS: Circulating nurses ensure all patient paperwork is completed, such as consent forms, history and physical notes and site verification. During the procedure, nurses may also document what takes place, patient positioning and other important data. They replenish surgical supplies as needed during the procedure. After the procedure, they verify instrument count, sponge counts and complete all charting. WHAT IT TAKES: For someone to be successful in the

years and passing an examination, accruing 2,400 hours of experience as an OR nurse, RNs may become certified.   WHY I DO IT: I was in a car accident and when I looked down at my arm it was obviously broken. I had just left work in the OR and this time was being taken back to the OR in an ambulance where  I had to have surgery to fix the bones in my arm. Even though I already worked in orthopedic surgery, this accident made me realize the importance of being able to help people with all types of fractures and bone injuries. I’ve continued working in orthopedic surgery and enjoy it very much. Bob Stobaugh RN, CNOR, orthopedic operating room nurse, Baptist Health College of Nursing 

Baptist Health College operating room nurse training.

WHAT IT IS: We are trained to work in many settings, from internal medicine, emergency department, ICUs or specialty clinics. WHAT IT TAKES: The AGACNP must be able to use good clinical judgment and critical thinking skills, and be able to respond quickly and effectively in the event of decompensation in the patient. Skills learned during training include intubation, placement of central venous lines (CVLs), lumbar puncture, suturing, incision and drainage, chest tube insertion and joint injections.

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NURSES GUIDE 2017

• 21


NURSING 2017 WHAT TRAINING IS REQUIRED: To complete the necessary components for the degree it usually takes three years. After completion of the degree and training requirements, you will be able to sit for board certification to become an Adult/ Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. WHY I DO IT: I chose this area of specialty to learn about complex issues in health care and to be able to address the needs of my patients. It gives me the flexibility to work in an inpatient, outpatient or blended setting. The greatest adjustment was a

change in thinking for me; I transitioned from taking orders as an RN to giving orders as an APRN. Maeghan Arnold , MNSc, RN, APRN, AGACNP-BC, MNSc Clinical Instructor, UAMS College of Nursing

PROCEDURE AREA/SPECIALTY:

CRITICAL CARE/INTENSIVE CARE

WHAT IT IS: We take care of a wide range of patients including cases of pneumonia, heart attacks, sepsis, seizures, overdose/

suicide, GI bleed, strokes, cardiac arrest and many others. WHAT IT TAKES: For someone to be successful in the CCU/ICU they need to have the ability to critically think and multitask. We are a fast-paced unit that is always on the go and we need nurses who can adjust to this. You also need to have a passion to want to work with critically ill patients and their families. WHAT TRAINING IS REQUIRED: To work here takes a registered nurse with current, active Arkansas license, BSN preferred.

RNs with less than one year of experience must obtain a BSN degree within four years of hire. For nurses we hire right out of nursing school, orientation is usually three months or longer; for nurses who already have CCU/ICU experience, orientation is usually four to six weeks. Before the end of orientation, nurses must be certified in BLS, ACLS, and complete the CRMC critical care class and cardiac dysrhythmia interpretation test. WHY I DO IT: After working here for six years, I can’t imagine myself working anywhere else. I enjoy the fast pace of the unit and that you never know what type of patient and diagnosis you will take care of. I enjoy my co workers because we work well as a team and help each other out without complaint. . Ashley Pierce, BSN, RN, CCRN, Conway Regional Medical Center CCU/ICU

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NURSES GUIDE 2017

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WHAT IT IS: Taking care of pre-term teenytiny, newborns that are too sick for the newborn nursery. WHAT IT TAKES: You need to have time management skills, critical thinking skills and the ability to pay attention to the details. These are tiny babies and they can’t tell you when something is wrong. WHAT TRAINING IS REQUIRED: You must be an RN to work in the unit and you will have a lengthy orientation period and a mentor. PALS and NALS is required, which is pediatric and neonatal life support certifications. WHY I DO IT: I have always loved pediatric nursing and, more specifically, babies. The NICU is the best of both worlds. I get to take care of babies and I get to learn so many things along the way. It is medicalsurgical nursing with tiny humans. Kristina Shelton, RN, BSN, RN program instructor, National Park College


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NURSING 2017

MINORITY STUDENT NURSES GROWING IN NUMBER IN ARKANSAS BY DWAIN HEBDA

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rkansas’s nursing population is more diverse than at any other time, a fact revealed by a stroll through the nursing schools of the state. In any given classroom, the once lilywhite, English-speaking and exclusively female ranks have been enhanced by a growing number of men, people of color and bilingual individuals hailing from various points around the globe. The result is a rich, multilayered nursing population that better reflects the changing demographics of the Natural State. Dr. Sharon Stevenson DNP, APRN, PPCNP-BC said much of her success was predicated on institutions that were welcoming and committed to diversity. “My faculty role as clinical assistant professor is in the UAMS College of Nursing and my clinical practice as a pediatric nurse practitioner is in neurology at Arkansas Children’s,” she said. “Both organizations promote and embrace diversity. I feel most welcomed and it is a welcome symbol when I see a growing number of diverse faculty, staff, clinicians and administrators that look like the population and people in the community we serve.” Arkansas’s nursing schools have shown a willingness to develop adaptive programs that maintain the high standards for teaching while allowing for cultural and language differences. Anne Le Tran, who was born in Vietnam, earned her BSN from Eleanor Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas this summer. “At the BSN level, I have been equipped with the ability to advance in critical thinking, clinical management and evaluation of nursing interventions for evidence-based practices,” she said. “Though it was an online program, my nursing professors spent a lot of time to communicate with us throughout the program via email, text, blackboard and discussion. I had the full support and dedicated teaching from all the professors, which helped me complete the program successfully.”

“Many of my friends also have taken the BSN program from different schools and, in comparison, the University of Arkansas has the most rigid BSN program. With the quality of the program and the teaching, it is worth the effort.” Stephanie Ingraham, nurse manager with Conway Regional Health System, said she was attracted to the nursing profession after seeing the caring treatment her father received in his battle with cancer. In the time since, she said she’s seen

much more gender diversity as well as nurses of different race and ethnicity. “We are absolutely seeing a growth in minorities in this field, especially with men,” she said. “Statistics show that one in 10 nurses are men, where in past times men in this position were nonexistent. In fact, the majority of the nurses on my unit are men and I absolutely love it.” Jacob Baker, BSN, RN, simulation center manager with University of Central Arkansas School of Nursing, said he first became interested in nursing through volunteering in a hospital when he was younger. “To this day, I remember the appreciation of patients for something as simple as giving them ice water. The satisfaction I experienced was something I enjoyed,” he said. “I chose UCA because of the exceptional pass rate on the NCLEX. The faculty were more than welcoming and went above and beyond in helping students succeed.” Like Ingraham, Baker said he’s seen a dramatic increase in the number of men in nursing roles. “When I began my career, I was one of five males employed on my unit,” he said. “Within the last two years, I have worked some shifts that were all male.” Even with such success stories, much work remains to bring more minority students into the fold. This includes better preparing such students for the rigors of nursing school and increasing affordability. Stevenson said every minority nurse shoulders some responsibility to assist such students in achieving their dream. “I am not a pioneer, because many others who may never be known or acknowledged forged the way before me,” she said. “There is no doubt that I have a responsibility to encourage and inspire others to keep moving forward. Paraphrasing from the book of Luke, ‘To whom much was given, much is required,’ and Maya Angelou, who said ‘When you learn, teach; when you get, give.’ Words to live by.”  n

CARING CLOSET EXTENDS THE ROLE OF NURSES INTO PATIENTS’ LIVES

W

hen a patient arrives at the 40-bed Psychiatric Research Institute at UAMS, sometimes for five or six days at a stretch, the last thing they are thinking about is bringing a change of clothes or packing an overnight bag, if such is to be had at all. Staffers at the unit noticed how many of the 30 adult inpatients had not so much as a toothbrush for the stay, let along anyone to bring them one. So, they decided to do something as an extension of the clinical nursing care they were providing. “It’s important that our patients be comfortable in their surroundings to better focus on their treatment,” said Judy Seidenschnur, director of nursing for the Psychiatric Research Institute. “Many of these patients arrive through the UAMS Emergency Department with little more than the clothes on their backs.” Out of this dire circumstance, the Caring Closet was born.

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The nurses and technical staff began collecting casual clothing — everything from jeans and sweatpants to T-shirts and shoes — and storing them in a closet on the building’s sixth floor. It wasn’t long before the scope of the need led the nursing staff to appeal to all of the institute’s employees for new or slightly used clothing. In the six years since it was launched, the Caring Closet has expanded to include toiletries, coats and reading materials, all donated by institute faculty and staff. The closet is organized by a group of hard-working volunteers who spend two to three days a week sorting through bags of clothing to find those that fit the needs of patients of all ages and sizes. “The Caring Closet is a great example of what can happen when volunteers and nursing staff work together to solve a problem,” said Seidenschnur. “The response by the patients has been immeasurable, and the staff take pride in knowing they made a difference in the lives of those they serve.”  n

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‘SCHOOL FAMILY’ INSPIRES RAVEN GRAY TO WANT TO HELP OTHERS

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pplied to Raven Gray, a popular saying might read, “It takes a village to make a nurse.” Gray, a senior BSN student at UAMS College of Nursing, has overcome long odds to get to this point, a journey that probably wouldn’t have happened at all had it not been for the investment of her instructors and mentors. “UAMS College of Nursing was the best decision I ever made, and I would make it again in a heartbeat,” she said. Gray originally set out to become a doctor before discovering her true love was nursing. By the time she got started on that dream, however, life had become very complicated. She entered nursing school 18 weeks pregnant while working full-time night shifts and, with no family in Arkansas, was doing it alone. Alone, that is, except for the professors who rallied around her. “My instructors at UAMS worked with all my doctor appointments, ensuring I would not have clinicals the days I saw my OB,” she said. “During my first semester, my dean and my instructor created a clinical schedule that would have me finished with my required hours two weeks prior to my due date.” Even after Gray gave birth to her son, her school family worked together to help her stay on track. “There were days when the daycare would be closed and I didn’t have a backup for my son, so my instructors who were free kept him in their office so I could take my exam,” she said. “If I couldn’t make it to class because

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www.ARStateJobs.com my son was sick, my instructors always corresponded with me through email. One even offered to come to my son’s room at Arkansas Children’s Hospital to go over what I missed.” Her goal now within reach, Gray sees many people like herself studying to become nurses. She looks for opportunities to provide them the kind of help she received and that made such a difference in her journey. “The number of minority nurses is growing every day! It makes me so proud to see more people who look like me doing something I dream of doing right next to them,”she said. “It gives me confidence and I hope other young minorities who think they can’t do it can see me and know that they can.”  n

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s Arkansas’ largest state agency, DHS employs more than 7,500 people across all 75 counties, operating at least one local office in every county, as well as the Arkansas State Hospital, the Arkansas Health Center, and five Human Development Centers around the state. “Our Nurses are devoted to providing the highest quality care to Arkansans,” says Harriett Brandon, DHS Program Administrator.

DHS employees enjoy great benefits including access to affordable health, dental and vision insurance, with complimentary starter life insurance coverage, 11 annual paid holidays, 12 vacation and 12 sick days annually, a credit union, and being fully vested in your retirement after only five years. Learn more about careers with DHS by visiting our website at www.AR-DHSJobs. com. n

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NURSING 2017

COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS C

ommunity health centers, also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers, were founded more than 50 years ago during President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty and initially came to Arkansas thanks to Gov. Dale Bumpers’ advocacy for preventive medical care in the Delta. Today, this model of care has evolved into the largest, and most successful, primary health care system in the nation. Consumerdriven and patient-centered, these organizations serve America’s most underserved communities by integrating critical medical and social services such as oral health, mental health, substance abuse, case management and translation under one roof. In 2015, Community Health Centers of Arkansas saved the state’s health care system about $235 million annually through effective patient management and a reduction in the need for costlier care such as hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

There are more than 235 full-time nurses employed in community health centers in Arkansas wherein they play a vital role delivering care to patients. “Community health centers rarely face difficulties with recruiting registered nurses compared to recruiting physicians,” CHCA chief executive officer LaShannon Spencer said. “Many community health centers have fostered great relationships with the numerous nursing schools around the state, which allows nursing students to do their clinical within a community health setting.” Nurses who make the decision to practice in a community health center tend to be very compassionate, offer selfless acts of kindness and have a greater understanding and empathy for patients who reside within rural communities. “Nurses are the connection between physicians and patients,”

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Spencer said. “Nurses often serve as patient advocates when communicating the needs of the patient to physicians. They play an important organizational role in the care of patients, which can help prevent complications.” Over the past few years, the nursing industry has expanded to include nursing research, practice and theory. Also, the nursing profession has developed numerous types of educational programs that have resulted in more nurses receiving a bachelor, master’s or even a doctoral degree. Community health centers employ nurses with different education and professional backgrounds to fit their staffing model as well as meet patient needs. “I was once told if you want to be great then solve great problems,” Spencer said. “Nurses walk into health care facilities every day and perform miracles.”  n


NURSING 2017

INES RAMIREZ’ PATH SERVES OTHERS, HONORS BROTHER

“He motivated me to achieve my dream of becoming a nurse. And not just an average nurse, but an outstanding nurse.”

I

nes Ramirez has wanted to be a nurse since high school. The student at National Park College in Hot Springs began her journey in the Medical Professions program of her high school in January 2015. In her application to nursing school, Ines wrote she chose nursing as a career because she “wants to contribute to saving lives.” It was a goal she had hoped to pursue alongside her brother, Jamie Ramirez Santiago. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. At around midnight May 9, 2015, her 22-year-old brother was killed when a vehicle he was riding in crossed the center line and struck an oncoming vehicle. Eight other people who were passengers in the vehicle were hurt, including Ines, who sustained life-threatening injuries. Ines not only recovered, she pushed through her injuries in time to start the semester with her classmates. Over the past two years, she hasn’t slowed down and is soon to bring the dream of becoming a nurse into reality. Along the way, Ines was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society and served as the Beta Lambda chapter president of Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society.

At around midnight May 9, 2015, her 22-year-old brother was killed when a vehicle he was riding in crossed the center line and struck an oncoming vehicle. Eight other people who were passengers in the vehicle were hurt, including Ines, who sustained lifethreatening injuries. Once she graduates from NPC and takes the National Licensure Exam for Registered Nursing, she will begin her first nursing job in the Intensive Care Unit at National Park Medical Center, the same unit where she was a patient two years ago. That would be enough for many people, but Ines isn’t one to become comfortable in her calling. She also plans to attend UAMS’ online RN to BSN program where she will complete her bachelor of science in nursing. Ines’ peers and instructors describe her as an inspiration. For her part, Ines sees her late brother in the same light. “He motivated me to achieve my dream of becoming a nurse,” Ines said. “And not just an average nurse, but an outstanding nurse.” n

Enroll in the State’s Top Nursing Program Today Henderson State University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program was recognized as the state’s top nursing program in 2017 by RegisteredNursing.org. We prepare our students to be caring, safe nurses in a supportive but challenging environment. Our students rise to the challenge. In the past two academic years, graduates have attained a 100 percent pass rate on the RN-NCLEX and 100 percent job placement upon graduation. Our bachelor’s degree programs prepare professional nurses to pursue higher education as well. We offer the following nursing degree options: • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (traditional) available on campus in Arkadelphia • RN to BSN (online) available for registered nurses with flexible practicum projects • Dual Degree RN to BSN available at National Park College and in Hot Springs • LPN to BSN (traditional) available on campus in Arkadelphia Our recent partnership with CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs offers students the opportunity to achieve their dreams with financial help and guaranteed positions with the hospital.

Visit hsu.edu/nursing to learn how Henderson State can help transform your dreams into a lifetime of achievement. Find us on Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram @HendersonStateU 800-228-7333 hsu.edu/nursing l

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NURSING 2017

PINNACLE POINTE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES P

innacle Pointe Hospital offers acute inpatient and residential treatment for children and adolescents ages 5 to 17. Acute inpatient treatment is advised after an assessment is completed and our psychiatrist concludes that the patient’s condition cannot be safely or effectively treated on an outpatient basis. The program is a comprehensive therapeutic,

intensive treatment led by a team of highly experienced mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, case managers, clinical therapists, certified teachers, registered nurses and recreational therapists. Residential inpatient treatment may be indicated in our facility for children and adolescents ages 5 to 17 with longstand-

ing emotional and behavioral health issues. Our physician-led residential treatment program addresses children’s entire well being, including medical, psychiatric, social and academic needs. The residential treatment program provides a variety of therapies and activities in a safe, comfortable environment. Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Health care also includes statewide services provided by Pinnacle Pointe Outpatient Behavioral Health. The services provided include intensive outpatient, school-based, At Pinnacle, we strive to meet families no matter where outpatient and an Alternative Learning Center. they are or what they are facing with a promise to provide Outpatient services include individual, family a compassionate, hope-filled environment, and tools to and group therapy, medication management, equip them to handle the problems they are facing. case management and psychological testing. Outpatient and/or school-based services provided in the following communities:Batesville, Benton/Bryant, Cabot, Clinton, Conway, Fordyce, Forrest City, Harmony Grove, Greater Hot Springs, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Searcy, Sheridan and Stuttgart. Families should talk openly about concerns or behavioral changes they observe. No one should be afraid to ask for help for their family when they feel uncertain how to handle an issue that arises. It takes strength and courage to reach out for help. At Pinnacle, we strive to meet families no matter where they are or what they are facing with a promise to provide a compassionate, hope-filled environment, and tools to equip them to handle the problems they are facing. Taking that first step and reaching out is the most vital step of all. We will help you with every one of the steps on your journey.  n

HSU’S LANDRUM BUILDS CAREER BY HELPING OTHERS PREPARE FOR THEIRS B

arbara Landrum believes variety is not only the spice of life, but the sum and substance of life itself. Landrum, associate professor of nursing at Henderson State University, had options early on — fighter pilot and international banker among them — but chose to pursue a career in nursing. Her first job was generalist nurse in a small rural hospital and she considers that experience an essential proving ground. “My early experience as a generalist nurse gave me the opportunity to obtain experiences in medical, surgical, emergency, ICU, obstetrics and emergency transport,” she said. “I spent my first three years in this type of work and moved up to charge nurse and infection control/ disaster coordinator.” After earning her certification in epidemiology, she split time working in an urban cardiovascular recovery unit and obtaining her master’s degree in executive nursing administration. She then took a job as evening house administrator at a 1,000-bed urban hospital.

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Her first teaching job, in a diploma program in the same hospital, was a natural fit. Teaching gigs followed in colleges and universities from Montana to Texas. Then in 2006, she joined Henderson State University, chairing the nursing department. “I enjoy teaching because I love helping students to think and see the world differently,” she said. “There is no such thing as a ‘hard’ subject. It is all in how it is taught.” Landrum believes so strongly in academics as an underpinning of excellent nursing that she recently stepped down as chair to focus on teaching Henderson’s high-quality nursing students. “I believe in teaching for mastery and believe that every nurse who graduates should have mastery of core concepts and skills,” she said, adding that the most satisfying thing about her job is “having students come back a year or more after taking my class and saying, ‘because of your class, I understand what is going on at work and feel very well-prepared.’”  n

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NURSING 2017

PRACTICE PLUS P

ractice Plus is a management service organization two. Through a wide array of services, Practice Plus helps founded in 1993 with a mission to become the most its partners better understand and successfully manage trusted business partner for health care providers. That the business of health care. mission was established with one sole purpose: to allow Practice Plus allows physicians to focus their time and physicians the ability to focus their time and energy on energy on patient care while keeping financial success for serving their patients with quality and compassionate care. Over the years, we have seen Practice Plus allows many changes in the health care physicians to focus industry. The words “paper charts,” “billing” and “collections” have been their time and replaced with “electronic health energy on patient records” and “revenue cycle mancare while keeping agement.” Information is shared financial success and communicated in dramatically for the practice an different ways and medical practices important goal. have evolved in numerous ways. Many of Practice Plus’ physician partners have expressed the struggles they had with business of health care, making sure all employment laws and regulations were being followed and ensuring their revenue cycle was performing in an efficient and successful manner, to name just

the practice an important goal. Some examples of how Practice Plus assists partner practices achieve financial success includes leveraging the purchasing power of 70-plus clinics, management of all managed care fee schedules and the ability to ensure the physician and the clinic are paid appropriately for the services provided. When providing assessments for clients, there are many areas that Practice Plus will examine, but a few of the areas we focus on include purchasing of goods and services, revenue cycle management, fee schedules,humanresourcesfunctions, coding, risk management, information services, medical malpractice insurance and accounting. There are many other areas that Practice Plus provides value and efficiency to our partner physicians, we have just listed a few. The saying that we like to use is, “If it has to do with helping run your medical business, Practice Plus can help provide it.”  n

Save One Life You’re A HERO Save 100 Lives You’re A NURSE. Arkansas hospitals employ everyday health care heroes, but our nurses are even more. Be more than a hero. Arkansas Hospitals. Important for Life.

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NURSING 2017

PULASKI TECH NOW UA-PTC, PART OF UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS SYSTEM O

ne of the state’s largest institutions of higher learning, North Little Rock’s Pulaski Technical College has joined the ranks of the University of Arkansas System, a collection of 12 four-year and two-year institutions of higher learning as well as seven other affiliates that focus on specific fields of study. The move, which became official in February, was accompanied by a rebranding strategy and new name, the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College (UA-PTC). As a result of this affiliation, UA-PTC students enjoy a number of new benefits, including easier transfer into other four-year schools within the UA System, new networking opportunities and an enhanced online learning infrastructure, eVersity, the UA System’s online college. The partnership is expected to benefit students in all academic areas, including UA-PTC’s nursing program. The school

supports two educational tracks in Practical Nursing; the traditional track is an 11-month certificate program beginning in August and ending in June of each year, and the nontraditional track is a 22-month certificate program beginning in August of each even year and ending in June of the second school year. Both tracks include summer courses. Entrance into either nursing program is highly competitive; only 30 positions are available each year in the traditional track and 10 positions every other year in the nontraditional track. Practical Nursing students are selected for enrollment by a point system, based on Kaplan Admission Test scores, advanced coursework and medical certifications. Classroom instruction is supplemented with clinical experiences in area hospitals. After graduation, students are eligible to apply for the state licensure examination.  n

ASU NURSING COLLEGE ENJOYS EXPLOSIVE GROWTH OVER 20-PLUS YEARS I

n just over two decades of existence, Arkansas State University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions has enjoyed leapfrog growth and industry recognition that places it on par with any nursing school in Arkansas. Since its founding in 1995, the college has nearly doubled its graduates from 331 to 602 in 2015 and grown its semesterly credit hours from 12,600 to nearly 60,000 over the same time period. “Our mission is to provide quality education to students, graduates and health care providers in a variety of health disciplines,” said Susan Hanrahan, dean. “Recognizing its unique position in the lower Mississippi Delta region, the college provides educational programs that are designed to promote lifelong learning based on the expressed needs of its varied constituencies.” Along with increased numbers have come a rapidly-increasing number of accredited degree programs, from just

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eight in 1995 to 22 undergraduate and graduate degrees today. More than 500 clinical sites contract with the college for experiences in a diverse array of settings. ASU’s innovative research and health programming has been equally robust. Among its more recent initiatives has been studying the potential clinical applications for visible and near infrared light as treatment for disinfection, wound healing and neuropathies, studying the long-term effects of antidepressants on the serotonin system and the relationship between foot sensation loss and balance in persons with diabetes. The college also supports a range of community service initiatives. Since 2000 alone, the college has launched three major educational programs, including the Billy Joe and Betty Ann Emerson Grief Seminars (2005), Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness Education (2006) and Beck Pride Center for America’s Wounded Veterans (2007).  n

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BEEN THERE, DONE THAT

Words of wisdom from those who have lived the nursing life The first six months are the hardest, but you fall into a routine and you will start to feel more confident, remembering that no two patients are the same. Stephanie Ingraham, RN, Conway Regional Health System A young nurse is set apart when she is willing to learn and help others. Young nurses are set apart for the worse when they think they already know everything and don’t want to ask questions. There are some things you can’t learn from a book, you only learn from experience. Meagan Moore, RN, BSN, Baptist Health The major make-or-break issues would be confidence, nerves and just learning to trust your gut. I was so scared I was going to mess up that I wouldn’t put myself out there as much as I wish I would have. You’ve got to realize that it’s OK to be nervous and you can mess up. It’s a learning process. Paula Spells, RN, Arkansas Children’s Hospital surgery department You should always have a healthy amount of fear coming into work every day. Anything can happen and you need to be prepared. Being scared means you’re being smart. Stephen Feero, BSN, RN, CCRN, Arkansas Tech University Protecting patient/hospital data is of utmost importance, especially if the nurse works in a “hometown” facility where everyone knows everyone. Privacy can be compromised by discussing patient situations in the elevator, at a restaurant or in a social setting. Laura Gillis, MSN, RN, clinical instructor, University of Central Arkansas School of Nursing The first time one of my patients died, I felt like I wasn’t cut out for nursing. You will never forget. Jennifer Cooper, RN, Conway Regional Health System Approaching the team with a positive attitude and work ethic serve as great first impressions. Always offer to help when you can, never be above turning a patient or bathing a patient. These are all things that help, and the nurse earns respect by demonstrating teamwork. Angela McJunkins, BSN, RN, PN program nursing faculty, National Park College Words to live by? One day at a time. Lori Pledger, Team Leader Baptist Home Health Take care of yourself. Eat, exercise and sleep. Meal plan so you have healthy food. Find the right exercise for you. Create your sleep environment to foster sleep. From blackout curtains, to the right temperature, to your sleepwear — only you know what you need for good sleep. Amanda Beaver, MSN, RN, clinical instructor, University of Central Arkansas School of Nursing Be kind and compassionate. There is something underneath the patient’s difficult facade that the health care team doesn’t know about. Being nice goes a long way. People can tell when you care. Dr. Sloan Davidson, associate professor, UA-Little Rock Nursing A new nurse goes through the grieving process during their first year of nursing. A new nurse is scared, nervous and excited all in one. During the first year, you’re on a roller coaster, so there are many nights of crying all the way home or staying late to finish charting. These emotions get better, and the roller coaster will finally slow down. It just takes time. Brittney Jones, RN, BSN Baptist Health Lets face it, not everyone is cut out to be a nurse, and as a new grad I thought I was one of those people. But as time has gone on, my opinion has shifted. When I walk into the hospital to start my shift at 0630 I transform. I transform into a friend, a trusted adviser, an empathetic shoulder to lean on, an advocate and a prayer warrior. Lauren Thomas, RN, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences People cope with stress and illness the best way they know how. As nurses, it is not only important to understand and help the physical aspect of illness, but the psychological aspects of illness and the stress it causes. Pam Branch, MSN RN, mental health nursing faculty, National Park College You won’t forget your first patient that dies. There is just an empty feeling that you get when you realize they aren’t in the hospital room you last saw them in. Don’t be afraid to cry, scream or be angry. You need to let those emotions out. Stephen Feero, BSN, RN, CCRN, Arkansas Tech University Show compassion even when you don’t want to; realize YOU GOT THIS and JUST DO IT. Johnna Askins, Conway Regional Health System


We care for the people who care for our patients. As a healthcare professional, you make decisions that affect our patients every day. So of course you deserve to be treated like the valuable team member you are. That’s why, if you choose a career with Conway Regional, you’ll enjoy: • Competitive salary & benefits • Low nurse-to-patient ratio • High employee satisfaction & retention • Positive team atmosphere Apply online at ConwayRegional.org/Jobs 501-513-5311

One Team. One Promise.

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