How to Choose a Nursing Program in Windom Minnesota
Finding the right nursing school near Windom MN may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional aspects to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Windom MN medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic 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 specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Windom MN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Windom MN. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain 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 typically a 2 year program offered by Minnesota community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as 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 comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Minnesota colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Windom MN or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Minnesota board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Windom MN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Windom MN area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Minnesota. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Windom MN home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more 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. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very 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 Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Minnesota and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Windom MN along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Windom MN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 imperative that the Windom MN area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Minnesota or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Minnesota school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Windom 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 programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Windom MN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Windom 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 too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Windom MN
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Windom MN.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize some approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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