How to Select a Nursing College in Columbus Mississippi
Choosing the right nursing program near Columbus MS may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Columbus MS healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support 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. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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), 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 Columbus MS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Columbus MS. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Mississippi community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Mississippi colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Columbus MS or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Mississippi board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Columbus MS. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Mississippi approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Columbus MS area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. 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 tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Mississippi to make certain that the education 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Mississippi. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Columbus MS home, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive 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 numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with 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 busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Mississippi and the United States. So it is essential 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 Columbus MS as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Columbus MS.
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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Columbus MS area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Mississippi or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Mississippi school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Columbus 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Columbus MS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Columbus MS area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Columbus MS
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Columbus MS.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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