How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Soda Springs Idaho
Choosing the best nursing program near Soda Springs ID may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Soda Springs ID medical care 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 function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Soda Springs ID, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Soda Springs ID. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Idaho community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Idaho 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 desire 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Soda Springs ID or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Idaho board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Soda Springs ID. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 Idaho approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Soda Springs ID area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Idaho to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Idaho. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Soda Springs ID home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more 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 family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Idaho and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Soda Springs ID as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Soda Springs ID.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Soda Springs ID area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Idaho school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Soda Springs ID healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Soda Springs ID healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Soda Springs ID area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course near Soda Springs ID
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Soda Springs ID.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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