How to Select a Nursing College in Brownstown Illinois
Finding the right nursing school near Brownstown IL may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional things to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Brownstown IL medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Brownstown IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Brownstown IL. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Brownstown IL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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. 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 requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Brownstown IL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Brownstown IL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets 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 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 might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Illinois. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Brownstown IL home, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Brownstown IL and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Brownstown IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Brownstown IL area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Brownstown IL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Brownstown IL medical 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 environment. Virtually all Brownstown IL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Brownstown IL
Selecting the right registered nursing school is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Brownstown IL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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