How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Prior Lake Minnesota
Choosing the best nursing school near Prior Lake MN may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Prior Lake MN healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced 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 Prior Lake MN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Prior Lake MN. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Minnesota community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 might desire 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 normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Prior Lake MN or concentrate 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Minnesota board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Prior Lake MN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Minnesota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Prior Lake MN area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Minnesota. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Prior Lake MN home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether 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 realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Minnesota and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Prior Lake MN along with the price of tuition are most likely 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 measures up to the other schools.
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 ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Prior Lake 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Prior Lake MN area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Minnesota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Prior Lake 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Prior Lake MN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Prior Lake MN area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Prior Lake MN
Choosing the right registered nursing program is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Prior Lake MN.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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