How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Northbrook Illinois
Locating the right nursing college near Northbrook IL may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Northbrook IL medical 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 duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Northbrook IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Northbrook IL. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain 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 commonly a two year program made available by Illinois community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually 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 might 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 typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Northbrook IL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained 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 check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Northbrook IL. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain 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, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Northbrook IL area. The duration of the training 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 obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Illinois. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Northbrook IL home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Northbrook IL along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Northbrook IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Northbrook IL area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Northbrook 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 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 dissatisfied 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 Northbrook IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Northbrook IL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Northbrook IL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Northbrook IL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you want to answer them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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