RN Nursing Programs in Chicago Heights IL 60411

How to Pick a Nursing College in Chicago Heights Illinois

Chicago Heights IL Registered NurseSearching for the right nursing school near Chicago Heights IL may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Chicago Heights IL medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help 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 functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Chicago Heights IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Chicago Heights IL. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Chicago Heights IL or concentrate 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.

LVN and LPN Courses

RN assisting surgeon in Chicago Heights ILThere are basically two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Chicago Heights IL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Courses

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Chicago Heights IL area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 approved. 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.

Nursing Online Classes

attending nursing school online in Chicago Heights ILEnrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Illinois. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Chicago Heights IL home, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs

Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Chicago Heights IL and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial 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 final choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Chicago Heights IL.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Chicago Heights IL area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.

Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 Chicago Heights 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 schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Chicago Heights IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.

Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Chicago Heights IL area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right RN Program near Chicago Heights IL

Choosing the right registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Chicago Heights IL.

Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?

When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.

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