How to Select a Nursing Program in Rockwell Iowa
Finding the right nursing school near Rockwell IA may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional things to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Rockwell IA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the care 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 responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Rockwell IA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Rockwell IA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- 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 position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Rockwell IA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Rockwell IA. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Rockwell IA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Iowa. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Rockwell IA home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Rockwell IA along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
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 ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Rockwell IA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Rockwell IA area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, 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 regional Rockwell 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 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 good reputation within the Rockwell IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Rockwell IA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Rockwell IA
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Rockwell IA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Iowa