How to Choose a Nursing Program in Walworth Wisconsin
Choosing the best nursing program near Walworth WI may feel like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Walworth WI medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Walworth WI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Walworth WI. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Wisconsin community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Wisconsin colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Walworth WI or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Wisconsin board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Walworth WI. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Wisconsin approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Walworth WI area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Wisconsin to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Wisconsin. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Walworth WI home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Wisconsin and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Walworth WI and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Walworth WI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Walworth WI area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Wisconsin or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Wisconsin school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Walworth WI healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Walworth WI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Walworth WI area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Walworth WI
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Walworth WI.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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