How to Pick a Nursing Program in Perham Minnesota
Finding the right nursing program near Perham MN may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to 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 considering 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. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Perham MN medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Perham MN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Perham MN. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Minnesota community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Minnesota colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance 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 two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Perham MN or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Minnesota board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Perham MN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Minnesota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Perham MN area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Minnesota to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming 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 nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Perham MN home, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Minnesota and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Perham MN as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Perham MN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 imperative that the Perham MN area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Minnesota or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments 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 determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Perham 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 complete 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Perham MN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Perham MN area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Perham MN
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Perham MN.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Minnesota