How to Select a Nursing School in Berkeley Illinois
Choosing the best nursing school near Berkeley IL may seem like a complicated undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Berkeley IL medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment 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. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Berkeley IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Berkeley IL. And 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 two years, or continue on to attain 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 typically a two year program made available 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 employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Illinois 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 might 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 normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Berkeley IL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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 vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Berkeley IL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 type of credential you seek, 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 most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Berkeley IL area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 period of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Illinois to make certain that the training course 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Illinois. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Berkeley IL home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations 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 hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Berkeley IL as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Berkeley IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Berkeley IL area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Berkeley IL 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 colleges you are considering 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 Berkeley IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Berkeley IL area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Berkeley IL
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Berkeley IL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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