How to Choose a Nursing School in Somerset Kentucky
Searching for the right nursing program near Somerset KY may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order 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 study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Somerset KY medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 administer primary or specialty care services in Somerset KY, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Somerset 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 as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Kentucky community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Kentucky colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Somerset KY or focus 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Somerset KY. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, 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 warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many 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 Somerset KY 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that every state has its specific 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 Kentucky to make certain that the training course 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 additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in Kentucky. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Somerset KY home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Kentucky and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Somerset KY along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Somerset KY.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Somerset 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. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Kentucky school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Somerset 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 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 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 good reputation within the Somerset KY medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Somerset KY area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Somerset KY
Picking the right registered nursing college is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional 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 drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Somerset KY.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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