How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Lime Springs Iowa
Locating the best nursing college near Lime Springs IA may seem like a complex project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Lime Springs IA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 administer primary or specialty care services in Lime Springs IA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Lime Springs 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 2 years, or continue on to earn 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 normally a 2 year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 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 may 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 generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lime Springs IA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lime Springs IA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lime Springs IA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 period of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Iowa. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Lime Springs IA home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Lime Springs IA along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Lime Springs IA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Lime Springs IA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. 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 speak with some nearby Lime Springs 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Lime Springs IA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Lime Springs IA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Lime Springs IA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lime Springs IA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare several strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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