How to Find the Right Nursing College in Georgetown Colorado
Choosing the right nursing school near Georgetown CO may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Georgetown CO healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Georgetown CO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Georgetown CO. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 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 available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Colorado community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Colorado colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Georgetown CO or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Colorado board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Georgetown CO. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 guarantees that the syllabus 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 attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Georgetown CO area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every 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 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 is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Colorado. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Georgetown CO home, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding 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 can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous 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 mentioned, the site of the school relative to Georgetown CO and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Georgetown CO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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 Georgetown CO area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Colorado school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Georgetown 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 schools you are considering 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Georgetown CO medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Georgetown CO area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Georgetown CO
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Georgetown CO.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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