How to Choose a Nursing Program in Graceville Minnesota
Finding the right nursing school near Graceville MN may feel like a complex project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Graceville MN medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising 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 normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Graceville MN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Graceville MN. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Minnesota community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 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 may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Graceville MN or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Minnesota board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Graceville MN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 Minnesota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately 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 earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Graceville MN area. The length of the training 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 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 minimal amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program 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 Minnesota to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Minnesota. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Graceville MN home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive 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 a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Minnesota and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Graceville MN along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary 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 selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Graceville MN.
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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Graceville MN area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at 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 too. Additionally, check with the Minnesota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Graceville 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 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Graceville MN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Graceville MN area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Graceville MN
Choosing the right registered nursing college is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Graceville MN.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Minnesota