How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Hardin Illinois
Searching for the right nursing program near Hardin IL may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional aspects to check into before you decide 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 medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Hardin IL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Hardin IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Hardin IL. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Hardin IL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Hardin IL. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hardin IL area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make certain that the training course is state certified. As well as 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.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Illinois. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Hardin IL home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper 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 commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. 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 manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Hardin IL along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Hardin IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Hardin IL area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Hardin 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Hardin IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Hardin IL area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Hardin IL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Hardin IL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Illinois