How to Pick a Nursing Program in Bedford Park Illinois
Finding the best nursing college near Bedford Park IL may feel like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various crucial additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Bedford Park IL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 Bedford Park IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Bedford Park IL. 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 just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Bedford Park IL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she 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 be sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bedford Park IL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bedford Park IL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Illinois. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Bedford Park IL home, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Bedford Park IL and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly 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 final choice, 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. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Bedford Park IL.
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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Bedford Park IL area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Bedford Park IL 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Bedford Park IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Bedford Park IL area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Bedford Park IL
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Bedford Park IL.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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