How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Marion Iowa
Choosing the best nursing college near Marion IA may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional things to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Marion IA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Marion IA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Marion IA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve 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 commonly a two year program offered by Iowa community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually 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 may want 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 normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Marion IA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Marion IA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Marion IA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Iowa to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates 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 colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Iowa. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Marion IA home, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Marion IA as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Marion IA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Marion IA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Iowa school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Marion 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Marion IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Marion IA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Marion IA
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Marion IA.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready some strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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