How to Choose a Nursing Program in Okahumpka Florida
Selecting the best nursing college near Okahumpka FL may feel like a complex project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Okahumpka FL medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist 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 along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. 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 Okahumpka FL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Okahumpka FL. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Florida community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Florida colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Okahumpka FL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Okahumpka FL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately 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 earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Okahumpka FL area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 minimum period of instruction required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Florida to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Florida. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require 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 Okahumpka FL home, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is essential to reduce 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 Okahumpka FL along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Okahumpka FL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Okahumpka FL area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Florida school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Okahumpka 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 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 superb reputation within the Okahumpka FL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Okahumpka 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 too. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Okahumpka FL
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Okahumpka FL.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous factors 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 profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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