How to Choose a Nursing School in Bloomfield Missouri
Finding the best nursing school near Bloomfield MO may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Bloomfield MO medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Bloomfield MO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Bloomfield MO. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Missouri community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Missouri colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Bloomfield MO or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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 fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Missouri board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bloomfield MO. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Missouri 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bloomfield MO area. The length of the instruction 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure 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 tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Missouri to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as 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.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Missouri. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Bloomfield MO home, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Missouri and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Bloomfield MO as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Bloomfield MO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Bloomfield MO area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Missouri or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online 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. Also, get in touch with the Missouri school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Bloomfield MO 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 programs you are considering 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Bloomfield MO medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Bloomfield MO area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Bloomfield MO
Picking the right registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 licensed RN in Bloomfield MO.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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