How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Wilmette Illinois
Choosing the right nursing program near Wilmette IL may seem like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are various crucial additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Wilmette IL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 Wilmette IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Wilmette IL. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Illinois community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive 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 might wish 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 commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Wilmette IL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Wilmette IL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Wilmette IL area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 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 own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in Illinois. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Wilmette IL home, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is important to decrease 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 Wilmette IL along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. 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 pick measures up to the other programs.
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 organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Wilmette IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Wilmette IL area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Wilmette 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Wilmette IL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Wilmette IL area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Wilmette IL
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, 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 using 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Wilmette IL.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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