How to Choose a Nursing School in Robert Louisiana
Finding the best nursing college near Robert LA may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Robert LA medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, 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:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 Robert LA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Robert LA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Louisiana community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Louisiana colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Robert LA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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 don’t forget to check with the Louisiana board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Robert LA. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 warrants that the course of study adequately 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 obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Robert 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Louisiana to make sure 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 can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Louisiana. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Robert LA home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding 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 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. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Louisiana and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Robert LA and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Robert LA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Robert LA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Louisiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Robert LA 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 programs 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Robert LA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Robert LA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Robert LA
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Robert LA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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