How to Choose a Nursing College in Antlers Oklahoma
Locating the right nursing college near Antlers OK may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Antlers OK medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Antlers OK, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Antlers OK. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Oklahoma community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Oklahoma colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Antlers OK or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Oklahoma board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Antlers OK. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Oklahoma approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Antlers OK area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Oklahoma to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Oklahoma. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Antlers OK home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Oklahoma and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Antlers OK as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Antlers OK.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Antlers OK area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Oklahoma or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Oklahoma school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Antlers OK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Antlers OK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Antlers OK area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Antlers OK
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Antlers OK.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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