How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Harvard Illinois
Selecting the right nursing program near Harvard IL may feel like a complex endeavor, especially 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 acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Harvard IL medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 Harvard IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Harvard IL. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Illinois community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers 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) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 may 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 commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Harvard IL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Harvard IL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Harvard IL area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Illinois. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Harvard IL home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Harvard IL along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Harvard IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Harvard IL area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Harvard IL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are looking at 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Harvard IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Harvard IL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Harvard IL
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Harvard IL.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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