How to Pick a Nursing College in Troy Illinois
Selecting the best nursing school near Troy IL may feel like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Troy IL medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific 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:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Troy IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Troy IL. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries 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 readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Troy IL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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 make sure to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Troy IL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, 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 normally 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. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Troy IL area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain 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 contact the health or nursing board for Illinois to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as 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.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get training and attain 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 specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Troy IL home, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Troy IL as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Troy IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Troy IL area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Troy 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 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 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 Troy IL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Troy IL area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School near Troy IL
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school 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 develop a short list 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Troy IL.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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