How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Oak Grove Louisiana
Finding the right nursing college near Oak Grove LA may feel like a challenging endeavor, 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 obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional things to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Oak Grove LA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. 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 Oak Grove LA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Oak Grove LA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve 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 generally a 2 year program made available by Louisiana community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Louisiana colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Oak Grove LA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Louisiana board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Oak Grove LA. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Louisiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Oak Grove LA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Louisiana to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Louisiana. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Oak Grove LA home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Louisiana and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Oak Grove LA and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Oak Grove LA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Oak Grove LA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Louisiana or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Louisiana school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Oak Grove 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Oak Grove LA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Oak Grove LA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Oak Grove LA
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Oak Grove LA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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