How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Homestead Florida
Choosing the right nursing program near Homestead FL may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional aspects to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Homestead FL medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Homestead FL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Homestead FL. And in order 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 two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Florida community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced 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 previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Homestead FL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Florida board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Homestead FL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice 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 complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Florida approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Homestead FL area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Florida to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in Florida. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Homestead FL home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Homestead FL as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Homestead FL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Homestead FL area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Florida or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Florida school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Homestead FL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Homestead FL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Homestead FL area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Homestead FL
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Homestead FL.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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