How to Find the Right Nursing School in Parkers Prairie Minnesota
Selecting the right nursing program near Parkers Prairie MN may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Parkers Prairie MN healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care 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. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Parkers Prairie MN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Parkers Prairie 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 just 2 years, or continue on to obtain 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 usually a two year program made available by Minnesota community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Minnesota colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Parkers Prairie MN or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Minnesota board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Parkers Prairie MN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, 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 normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Minnesota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Parkers Prairie MN area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course 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 contact the health or nursing board for Minnesota to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Minnesota. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Parkers Prairie MN home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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 work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Minnesota and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Parkers Prairie MN and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Parkers Prairie 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Parkers Prairie MN area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. 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 Parkers Prairie MN healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Parkers Prairie MN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Parkers Prairie MN area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Parkers Prairie MN
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Parkers Prairie MN.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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