How to Select a Nursing Program in New London Minnesota
Selecting the best nursing school near New London MN may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the New London MN healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in New London MN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in New London MN. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Minnesota community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically 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 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in New London MN or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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 make sure to get in touch with the Minnesota board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in New London MN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Minnesota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the New London MN area. The duration of the training program 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its specific requirements. 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 suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Minnesota to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in Minnesota. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your New London MN home, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Minnesota and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to New London MN and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near New London MN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the New London MN area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Minnesota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local New London 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the New London MN medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all New London MN area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near New London MN
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in New London MN.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Minnesota