How to Select a Nursing Program in Sparland Illinois
Finding the best nursing school near Sparland IL may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to investigate 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 medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Sparland IL medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Sparland IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Sparland IL. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Sparland IL or focus 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) 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.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Sparland IL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Sparland IL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 instruction mandated and 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 also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as 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.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Illinois. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Sparland IL home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. 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 decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Sparland IL along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Sparland 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Sparland IL area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. 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 contact some local Sparland 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 schools 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Sparland IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Sparland IL area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Sparland IL
Choosing the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Sparland IL.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Illinois