How to Select a Nursing College in Lancaster Minnesota
Finding the best nursing program near Lancaster MN may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional things to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Lancaster MN medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced 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 provide primary or specialty care services in Lancaster MN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Lancaster MN. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Minnesota community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Minnesota colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lancaster MN or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Minnesota board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lancaster MN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately 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 earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lancaster MN area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Minnesota to make certain that the training course is state approved. 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
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Minnesota. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Lancaster MN home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities 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 hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Minnesota and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Lancaster MN along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Lancaster MN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Lancaster MN area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Minnesota or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Minnesota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Lancaster 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Lancaster MN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Lancaster MN area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Lancaster MN
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Lancaster MN.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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