How to Select a Nursing School in Pascagoula Mississippi
Searching for the right nursing program near Pascagoula MS may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly 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 need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Pascagoula MS medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Pascagoula MS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Pascagoula MS. And in order 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 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Mississippi community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job 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) offers 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Pascagoula MS or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Mississippi board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Pascagoula MS. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering 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 kind of credential you pursue, it should be Mississippi approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pascagoula MS area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 minimal period of training directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the 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 check with the health or nursing board for Mississippi to make sure that the education 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 other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Mississippi. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Pascagoula MS home, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. 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 job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Mississippi and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Pascagoula MS and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Pascagoula MS.
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) in addition to 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 essential that the Pascagoula MS area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Mississippi or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Mississippi school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Pascagoula MS 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 colleges 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Pascagoula MS medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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. Essentially all Pascagoula MS area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Pascagoula MS
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Pascagoula MS.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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