How to Pick a Nursing Program in Baker Louisiana
Finding the best nursing college near Baker LA may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Baker LA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Baker LA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Baker LA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Louisiana community colleges. It readies 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 attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Louisiana 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 want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Baker LA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Louisiana board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Baker LA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Louisiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Baker LA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for Louisiana to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in Louisiana. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Baker LA home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Louisiana and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Baker LA along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
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 agency. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Baker LA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Baker LA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Louisiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Baker LA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Baker LA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Baker LA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Baker LA
Choosing the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Baker LA.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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