How to Pick a Nursing College in Afton Minnesota
Searching for the best nursing program near Afton MN may feel like a complicated project, 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 receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function 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 most extensive occupation in the Afton MN healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend 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
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Afton MN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Afton MN. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Minnesota community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Minnesota 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 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Afton MN or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Minnesota board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Afton MN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Minnesota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Afton MN area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 amount of instruction mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with 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 Minnesota to make sure that the training course 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Minnesota. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Afton MN home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. 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. So if your work and family obligations have left you with little 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.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Minnesota and the United States. So it is essential to lower 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 Afton MN as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first 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 ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
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. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Afton MN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Afton MN area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Minnesota school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Afton MN 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Afton MN medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Afton MN area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. 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 Degree near Afton MN
Picking the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Afton MN.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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