How to Pick a Nursing Program in Chester Illinois
Choosing the best nursing college near Chester IL may seem like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Chester IL medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Chester IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Chester IL. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend 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 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 might wish 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 typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Chester IL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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 vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Chester IL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Chester IL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make sure that the training 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 additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Illinois. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Chester IL home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Chester IL along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Chester IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Chester IL area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Chester 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 programs you are considering 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Chester IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Chester IL area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Chester IL
Selecting the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Chester IL.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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