How to Find the Right Nursing School in Strasburg Colorado
Selecting the right nursing program near Strasburg CO may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Strasburg CO healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Strasburg 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 Strasburg CO. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Colorado community colleges. It readies 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 subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Colorado colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Strasburg CO or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Colorado board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Strasburg CO. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain 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, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Colorado approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other 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.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Strasburg CO area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Colorado to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Colorado. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Strasburg CO home, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Colorado and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Strasburg CO as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Strasburg CO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Strasburg CO area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Colorado school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Strasburg 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Strasburg CO medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Strasburg CO area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Strasburg CO
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Strasburg CO.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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