How to Select a Nursing School in Stearns Kentucky
Selecting the right nursing program near Stearns KY may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Stearns KY medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Stearns KY, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Stearns KY. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve 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 commonly a 2 year program offered by Kentucky community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Stearns KY or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Stearns KY. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 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.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Stearns KY area. The length 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Kentucky to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Kentucky. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for 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 Stearns KY home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Kentucky and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Stearns KY along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see 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. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Stearns KY.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Stearns KY area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements 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. In addition, check with the Kentucky school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Stearns 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Stearns KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Stearns KY area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Stearns KY
Selecting the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose 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 practicing nurse in Stearns KY.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Kentucky