How to Select a Nursing Program in Warsaw Kentucky
Searching for the right nursing program near Warsaw KY may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore 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 Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Warsaw KY medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Warsaw KY, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Warsaw KY. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- 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 facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies 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 desire 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Warsaw KY or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Kentucky board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Warsaw KY. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying 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 seek, it should be Kentucky approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Warsaw KY area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Kentucky to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Kentucky. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Warsaw KY home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Kentucky and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Warsaw KY along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Warsaw KY.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Warsaw KY area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews 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 nearby Warsaw 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Warsaw KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Warsaw KY area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Warsaw KY
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Warsaw KY.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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