How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Urbana Missouri
Choosing the right nursing school near Urbana MO may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly 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 obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Urbana MO medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Urbana MO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Urbana MO. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- 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 medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Missouri colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Urbana MO or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Missouri board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Urbana MO. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, 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 Missouri approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Urbana MO area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one 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 minimum amount of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Missouri to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Missouri. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Urbana MO home, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Missouri and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Urbana MO and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
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. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Urbana MO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Urbana MO area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Missouri or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit 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. In addition, contact the Missouri school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Urbana 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Urbana MO healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Urbana MO area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program near Urbana MO
Choosing the right registered nursing school is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Urbana MO.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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