How to Choose a Nursing School in Waterville Kansas
Choosing the right nursing college near Waterville KS may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you 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 study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional things to check out before you determine 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, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Waterville KS medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Waterville KS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Waterville KS. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain 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 usually a 2 year program made available by Kansas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Kansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Waterville KS or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained 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 check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Waterville KS. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering 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 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Waterville KS area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets 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 education 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 may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Kansas. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Waterville KS home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning 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 lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Kansas 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 already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Waterville KS along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Waterville KS.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 essential that the Waterville KS area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Kansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Waterville 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 colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Waterville KS medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Waterville KS area nursing degree programs require a certain 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 regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Waterville KS
Picking the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Waterville KS.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Kansas