How to Pick a Nursing School in Lemont Illinois
Finding the best nursing college near Lemont IL may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Lemont IL medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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 generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Lemont IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Lemont 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 earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 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 position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 might wish to advance 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lemont IL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she 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 don’t forget to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lemont IL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve 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 option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, 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 guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lemont IL area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Illinois. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Lemont IL home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Lemont IL as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Lemont IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Lemont IL area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent 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 each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Lemont 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 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 Lemont IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Lemont 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. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Lemont IL
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Lemont IL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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