How to Choose a Nursing Program in Lambertville Michigan
Finding the right nursing program near Lambertville MI may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Lambertville MI healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role 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 area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Lambertville MI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Lambertville MI. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Michigan community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Michigan colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lambertville MI or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. 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.
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lambertville MI. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying 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 pursue, it needs to be Michigan approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lambertville MI area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Michigan to make sure that the training 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in Michigan. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Lambertville MI home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper 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 many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, 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 so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Lambertville MI and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. 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 measures up to the other programs.
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. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Lambertville MI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Lambertville MI area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Michigan or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Michigan school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Lambertville 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Lambertville MI medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Lambertville MI area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Lambertville MI
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 licensed registered nurse in Lambertville MI.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Michigan