How to Pick a Nursing College in Shalimar Florida
Searching for the best nursing school near Shalimar FL may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various crucial additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Shalimar FL medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Shalimar FL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Shalimar FL. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Florida community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities 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) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Florida colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Shalimar FL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Shalimar FL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Shalimar FL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with 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 Florida to make sure that the training course is state approved. 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 Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Florida. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Shalimar FL home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Shalimar FL and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Shalimar FL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Shalimar FL area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Florida school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Shalimar 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 colleges you are looking at 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Shalimar FL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Shalimar FL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near Shalimar FL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Shalimar FL.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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