RN Nursing Programs in Clear Lake MN 55319

How to Select a Nursing School in Clear Lake Minnesota

Clear Lake MN Registered NurseSelecting the best nursing school near Clear Lake MN may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Clear Lake MN healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 Clear Lake MN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Clear Lake MN. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two 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 commonly a two year program made available by Minnesota community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Minnesota 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 wish 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 offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Clear Lake MN or focus on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Minnesota board of nursing for any state mandates.

LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees

RN assisting surgeon in Clear Lake MNThere are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Clear Lake MN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Minnesota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Clear Lake MN area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Minnesota to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.

Nursing Online Programs

attending nursing school online in Clear Lake MNEnrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Minnesota. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Clear Lake MN home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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 work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs

Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Minnesota and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Clear Lake MN as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.

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 confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Clear Lake MN.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Clear Lake MN area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Minnesota or the state where you will be working.

Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Minnesota school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Clear Lake MN 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Clear Lake MN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.

Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Clear Lake MN area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Pick the Right RN Program near Clear Lake MN

Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Clear Lake MN.

Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?

When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.

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