How to Select a Nursing College in Atchison Kansas
Locating the right nursing program near Atchison KS may feel like a complex undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, 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 research and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Atchison KS medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Atchison KS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Atchison KS. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Kansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Kansas 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Atchison KS or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Atchison KS. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 Kansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately 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 have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Atchison KS area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Kansas to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in Kansas. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Atchison KS home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Kansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Atchison KS as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Atchison KS.
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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Atchison KS area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Atchison KS healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Atchison KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Atchison KS area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Atchison KS
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you select an RN college 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 shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Atchison KS.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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