How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Independence Iowa
Locating the right nursing college near Independence IA may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Independence IA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job 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. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Independence IA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Independence IA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions 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 prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use 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 normally a four year program offered at Iowa colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Independence IA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Independence IA. 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 broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide 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 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 education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Independence IA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 Iowa to make certain that the training 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 may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Iowa. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Independence IA home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more 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. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Independence IA along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Independence IA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Independence IA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, 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 Independence 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Independence IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Independence IA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Independence IA
Choosing the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Independence IA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Iowa