How to Find the Right Nursing School in Hayden Colorado
Choosing the best nursing school near Hayden CO may seem like a complicated undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional things to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Hayden CO healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Hayden CO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Hayden CO. 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 as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Colorado community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Colorado colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Hayden CO or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Colorado board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Hayden CO. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hayden CO area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Colorado to make sure 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 can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Colorado. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Hayden CO home, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Colorado and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Hayden CO as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Hayden CO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Hayden CO area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Colorado or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online 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, get in touch with the Colorado school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Hayden 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Hayden CO medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help 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 Hayden CO area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program near Hayden CO
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Hayden CO.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize some strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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