How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Burnt Prairie Illinois
Finding the best nursing program near Burnt Prairie IL may feel like a formidable project, especially 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 receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Burnt Prairie IL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 Burnt Prairie IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Burnt Prairie IL. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 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 desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Burnt Prairie IL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Burnt Prairie IL. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next 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 complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering 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 should be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively 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 education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Burnt Prairie IL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Illinois. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Burnt Prairie IL home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start 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 decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Burnt Prairie IL and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Burnt Prairie IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Burnt Prairie IL area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Burnt Prairie 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Burnt Prairie IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Burnt Prairie IL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Burnt Prairie IL
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Burnt Prairie IL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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