How to Pick a Nursing School in Guthrie Center Iowa
Locating the best nursing program near Guthrie Center IA may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Guthrie Center IA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Guthrie Center IA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Guthrie Center IA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two 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 typically a 2 year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Iowa colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 commonly a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Guthrie Center IA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Guthrie Center IA. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Guthrie Center IA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and every 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 also 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 course 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 other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Iowa. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Guthrie Center IA home, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Guthrie Center IA as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things 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 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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Guthrie Center 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Guthrie Center IA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Iowa 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. Also, check with the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Guthrie Center 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 schools 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Guthrie Center IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Guthrie Center IA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Guthrie Center IA
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Guthrie Center IA.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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