How to Choose a Nursing Program in Merrill Michigan
Selecting the right nursing program near Merrill MI may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional things to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Merrill MI medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Merrill MI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Merrill MI. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain 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 normally a two year program made available by Michigan community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Michigan colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 typically a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Merrill MI or focus 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Michigan board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Merrill MI. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Merrill MI area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Michigan to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Michigan. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Merrill MI home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, 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 undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Michigan and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Merrill MI and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Merrill MI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Merrill MI area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Michigan school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Merrill 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Merrill MI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Merrill MI area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Merrill MI
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Merrill MI.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to address them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Michigan