How to Select a Nursing Program in Lake Wales Florida
Finding the right nursing school near Lake Wales FL may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Lake Wales FL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Lake Wales FL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Lake Wales FL. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve 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 commonly a two year program made available by Florida community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Florida 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 may wish to advance 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lake Wales FL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lake Wales FL. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 adequately 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lake Wales FL area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Florida to make sure 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 can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in Florida. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Lake Wales FL home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Florida and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Lake Wales FL as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
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 agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Lake Wales FL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 imperative that the Lake Wales FL area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Florida or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Florida school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Lake Wales 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 schools 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Lake Wales FL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Lake Wales FL area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Lake Wales FL
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose 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 registered nurse in Lake Wales FL.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready some approaches about how you would like to address them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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