How to Choose a Nursing School in Winona Mississippi
Searching for the best nursing school near Winona MS may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Winona MS medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. 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 Winona MS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Winona 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 continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Mississippi community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Mississippi colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Winona MS or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Mississippi board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Winona MS. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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 course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Winona MS area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Mississippi to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in Mississippi. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Winona MS home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. 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 household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably 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 select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Winona MS and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. 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 selection measures up 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. In addition to helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Winona 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Winona MS area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Mississippi or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Mississippi school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Winona 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 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 unhappy 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 Winona MS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist 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 Winona MS area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Winona MS
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Winona MS.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Mississippi