How to Choose a Nursing School in Guntown Mississippi
Searching for the best nursing program near Guntown MS may feel like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Guntown MS healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Guntown MS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Guntown MS. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Mississippi community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Mississippi colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Guntown MS or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Mississippi board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Guntown MS. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing 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 type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Mississippi approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Guntown MS area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Mississippi to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with 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 Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in Mississippi. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Guntown MS home, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Mississippi and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Guntown MS and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Guntown MS.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 important that the Guntown MS area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Mississippi or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Mississippi school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Guntown MS healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are considering 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 good reputation within the Guntown MS medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Guntown MS area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Guntown MS
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, 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 each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Guntown MS.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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