How to Pick a Nursing School in Tuscumbia Missouri
Locating the best nursing school near Tuscumbia MO may feel like a formidable project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Tuscumbia MO medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 Tuscumbia MO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Tuscumbia MO. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered 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 more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Missouri colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Tuscumbia MO or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Missouri board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Tuscumbia MO. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Missouri approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Tuscumbia MO area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Missouri to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with 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.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Missouri. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Tuscumbia MO home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within 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 earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Tuscumbia MO as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Tuscumbia MO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Tuscumbia MO area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Missouri or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Missouri school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Tuscumbia MO 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Tuscumbia MO medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Tuscumbia MO area nursing degree programs require a certain 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 regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Tuscumbia MO
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick 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 practicing RN in Tuscumbia MO.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Missouri