How to Pick a Nursing School in Emmetsburg Iowa
Locating the right nursing program near Emmetsburg IA may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess 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 distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Emmetsburg IA medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role 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. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Emmetsburg IA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Emmetsburg IA. 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 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical 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) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Iowa colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Emmetsburg IA 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Emmetsburg IA. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively 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 acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Emmetsburg IA area. The duration of the training program 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and each state has its own requirements. 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 contact the health or nursing board for Iowa to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Iowa. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Emmetsburg IA home, this option may be a more practical solution 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 additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Emmetsburg IA as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Emmetsburg IA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Emmetsburg IA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Emmetsburg IA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are considering 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 displeased 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 Emmetsburg IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Emmetsburg IA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Emmetsburg IA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Emmetsburg IA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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