How to Choose a Nursing School in Craig Colorado
Choosing the best nursing school near Craig CO may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Craig CO healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Craig CO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Craig CO. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Colorado community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Colorado colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Craig CO or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Colorado board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Craig CO. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Colorado approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Craig CO area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Colorado to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Colorado. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Craig CO home, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Colorado and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Craig CO as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Craig CO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Craig CO area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Colorado school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Craig CO healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Craig CO medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Craig CO area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Craig CO
Picking the right registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Craig CO.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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