How to Choose a Nursing Program in River Grove Illinois
Choosing the right nursing school near River Grove IL may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional things to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into 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 offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the River Grove IL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in River Grove IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in River Grove 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 6 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 offered 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 later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in River Grove IL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he 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 requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in River Grove IL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering 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 needs to 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 most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the River Grove IL area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Illinois. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your River Grove IL home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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 family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to River Grove IL along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near River Grove IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the River Grove IL area school you are attending 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 practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local River Grove 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 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the River Grove IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all River Grove IL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near River Grove IL
Choosing the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in River Grove IL.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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