How to Find the Right Nursing School in Winchester Indiana
Choosing the best nursing program near Winchester IN may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Winchester IN medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Winchester IN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Winchester IN. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Indiana community colleges. It preps 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) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Indiana 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 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 usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Winchester IN or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Indiana board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Winchester IN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Indiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Winchester IN area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Indiana to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Indiana. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Winchester IN home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Indiana and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Winchester IN along with the cost of tuition are probably 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 final decision, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Winchester IN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Winchester IN area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Indiana or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Indiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Winchester IN 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Winchester IN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Winchester IN area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Winchester IN
Choosing the right registered nursing college is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Winchester IN.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must ready several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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