How to Select a Nursing Program in Jackson Michigan
Selecting the best nursing school near Jackson MI may feel like a difficult project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to explore before you make a decision 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 care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Jackson MI medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Jackson MI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Jackson MI. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two 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 commonly a two year program offered by Michigan community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use 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 commonly a four year program offered at Michigan colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Jackson MI 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Michigan board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Jackson MI. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Michigan approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Jackson MI area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimal period of instruction mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Michigan to make certain 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 may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Michigan. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Jackson MI home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Michigan 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 previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Jackson MI along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Jackson MI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Jackson MI area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Michigan or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Michigan school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Jackson MI healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at 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 superb reputation within the Jackson MI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Jackson MI area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Jackson MI
Selecting the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Jackson MI.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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