How to Choose a Nursing College in Johnstown Colorado
Choosing the best nursing program near Johnstown CO may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Johnstown CO medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 Johnstown CO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Johnstown CO. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Colorado community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including 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 expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Colorado colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Johnstown CO or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Colorado board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Johnstown CO. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. 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 complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Johnstown CO area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in 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 minimum period of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Colorado to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Colorado. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Johnstown CO home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with 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 hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Colorado and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Johnstown CO along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
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. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Johnstown CO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Johnstown CO area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Colorado or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, 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 local Johnstown 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 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 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 Johnstown CO medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Johnstown CO area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Johnstown CO
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you choose 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 develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Johnstown CO.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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