How to Select a Nursing School in Pulaski Illinois
Locating the best nursing school near Pulaski IL may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Pulaski IL medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Pulaski 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 Pulaski IL. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn 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 usually 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 employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 desire 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 normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Pulaski IL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Pulaski IL. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pulaski IL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with 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 training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Illinois. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Pulaski IL home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start 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 necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Pulaski IL as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Pulaski IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Pulaski IL area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Pulaski IL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Pulaski IL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Pulaski IL area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Pulaski IL
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Pulaski IL.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you want to address them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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