How to Pick a Nursing Program in Red Feather Lakes Colorado
Locating the right nursing college near Red Feather Lakes CO may feel like a formidable project, 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 need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Red Feather Lakes CO medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Red Feather Lakes CO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Red Feather Lakes CO. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Colorado community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Colorado colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Red Feather Lakes CO or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Colorado board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Red Feather Lakes CO. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain 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 offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some 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 Red Feather Lakes CO area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just 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 each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the 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 check with the health or nursing board for Colorado to make certain 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 may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Colorado. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Red Feather Lakes CO home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Colorado and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Red Feather Lakes CO as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Red Feather Lakes CO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Red Feather Lakes CO area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Colorado school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Red Feather Lakes 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Red Feather Lakes CO healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Red Feather Lakes CO area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School near Red Feather Lakes CO
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Red Feather Lakes CO.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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