How to Find the Right Nursing College in Biloxi Mississippi
Locating the right nursing program near Biloxi MS may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Biloxi MS medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Biloxi MS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Biloxi MS. 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 just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Mississippi community colleges. It readies 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) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Mississippi colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Biloxi MS or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Mississippi board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Biloxi MS. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing 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 kind of credential you seek, it should be Mississippi approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately 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 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 Biloxi MS area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Mississippi to make sure that the training course 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.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Mississippi. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Biloxi MS home, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps 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 determined which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Mississippi and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Biloxi MS along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
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. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Biloxi MS.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Biloxi MS area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Mississippi or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Mississippi school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Biloxi MS 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Biloxi MS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Biloxi MS area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program near Biloxi MS
Choosing the right registered nursing school is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Biloxi MS.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize some approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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