How to Find the Right Nursing School in Freeburg Illinois
Finding the right nursing program near Freeburg IL may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Freeburg IL medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. 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 Freeburg IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Freeburg IL. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Freeburg IL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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 don’t forget to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Freeburg IL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should 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 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.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Freeburg IL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in Illinois. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Freeburg IL home, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 obligations have left you with limited 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 decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Freeburg IL as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Freeburg 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Freeburg IL area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Freeburg 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Freeburg IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Freeburg IL area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Freeburg IL
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Freeburg IL.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Illinois