How to Pick a Nursing Program in Gulf Breeze Florida
Choosing the right nursing school near Gulf Breeze FL may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Gulf Breeze FL medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job 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 specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Gulf Breeze FL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Gulf Breeze FL. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Florida community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Florida 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 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 generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Gulf Breeze FL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Florida 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 Gulf Breeze FL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Florida approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any 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.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Gulf Breeze FL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Florida to make certain that the training course is state certified. As well as 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 programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in Florida. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Gulf Breeze FL home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with 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
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Gulf Breeze FL and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Gulf Breeze FL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Gulf Breeze FL area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Florida school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Gulf Breeze FL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 superb reputation within the Gulf Breeze FL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Gulf Breeze FL area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Gulf Breeze FL
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical 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 checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Gulf Breeze FL.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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