How to Select a Nursing Program in Georgetown Kentucky
Locating the best nursing program near Georgetown KY may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Georgetown KY medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Georgetown KY, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Georgetown KY. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Kentucky community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Kentucky 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 want 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Georgetown KY or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Kentucky board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Georgetown KY. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Kentucky approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Georgetown KY area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 Kentucky to make sure 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 might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Kentucky. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Georgetown KY home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Kentucky and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Georgetown KY along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Georgetown KY.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Georgetown KY area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Kentucky school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Georgetown KY 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Georgetown KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Georgetown KY area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Georgetown KY
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Georgetown KY.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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