How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Pleasant Hill Missouri
Searching for the best nursing school near Pleasant Hill MO may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Pleasant Hill MO medical care 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 job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific 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:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Pleasant Hill MO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Pleasant Hill MO. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Missouri community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Missouri colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Pleasant Hill MO or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Missouri board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Pleasant Hill MO. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Missouri approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pleasant Hill MO area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 training required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Missouri to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates 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 popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Missouri. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Pleasant Hill MO home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Missouri and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Pleasant Hill MO and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Pleasant Hill MO.
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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Pleasant Hill MO area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Missouri or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Missouri school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Pleasant Hill MO 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Pleasant Hill MO medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Pleasant Hill MO area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Pleasant Hill MO
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Pleasant Hill MO.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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