How to Select a Nursing College in Glenwood Iowa
Searching for the right nursing college near Glenwood IA may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Glenwood IA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating 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 high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Glenwood IA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Glenwood IA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Iowa colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Glenwood IA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Glenwood IA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying 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 pursue, it should be Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly 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 obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Glenwood IA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Iowa to make sure 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Iowa. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Glenwood IA home, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Glenwood IA and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Glenwood IA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Glenwood IA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Glenwood IA 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Glenwood IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Glenwood IA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Glenwood IA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Glenwood IA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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