How to Pick a Nursing College in Russell Springs Kentucky
Selecting the right nursing program near Russell Springs KY may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Russell Springs KY medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Russell Springs KY, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Russell Springs KY. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Kentucky community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Kentucky 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 wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Russell Springs KY or focus 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Russell Springs KY. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Kentucky approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Russell Springs KY area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Kentucky to make sure that the education 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 requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Kentucky. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Russell Springs KY home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Kentucky and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Russell Springs KY and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first 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 see how your selection compares to the other programs.
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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Russell Springs KY.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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 Russell Springs KY area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Kentucky school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Russell Springs KY 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 displeased 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 Russell Springs KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Russell Springs KY area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Russell Springs KY
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Russell Springs KY.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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