How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Lyndon Illinois
Selecting the best nursing college near Lyndon IL may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Lyndon IL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 administer primary or specialty care services in Lyndon IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Lyndon IL. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Illinois community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Lyndon IL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lyndon IL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 some 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.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lyndon IL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make certain that the training 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in Illinois. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Lyndon IL home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Lyndon IL as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Lyndon IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Lyndon IL area school you are enrolled in 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 internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Lyndon 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Lyndon IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Lyndon IL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Lyndon IL
Choosing the right registered nursing school is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lyndon IL.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should ready some ideas about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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