How to Find the Right Nursing School in Eldorado Springs Colorado
Selecting the right nursing college near Eldorado Springs CO may seem like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Eldorado Springs CO medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Eldorado Springs CO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Eldorado Springs CO. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Colorado community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Colorado colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Eldorado Springs CO or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Colorado board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Eldorado Springs CO. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Colorado approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Eldorado Springs CO area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Colorado to make certain that the training course is state approved. 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 Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Colorado. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Eldorado Springs CO home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments 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.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Colorado and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Eldorado Springs CO along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Eldorado Springs CO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 essential that the Eldorado Springs CO 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 Colorado or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Colorado school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Eldorado Springs CO 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 colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Eldorado Springs CO healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Eldorado Springs CO area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Eldorado Springs CO
Choosing the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Eldorado Springs CO.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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