How to Pick a Nursing School in Scranton Iowa
Locating the right nursing program near Scranton IA may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional things to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Scranton IA medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general 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 area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Scranton IA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Scranton 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 explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as 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) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Iowa colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Scranton IA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Scranton IA. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, 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 core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Scranton IA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. 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 recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Iowa to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Iowa. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Scranton IA home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. 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 work and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Scranton IA and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Scranton IA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Scranton IA area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Iowa school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Scranton 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Scranton IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Scranton IA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Scranton IA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate 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 Scranton IA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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