RN Nursing Programs in Colstrip MT 59323

How to Pick a Nursing College in Colstrip Montana

Colstrip MT Registered NurseChoosing the best nursing school near Colstrip MT may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function 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 Colstrip MT healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing 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 provide primary or specialty care services in Colstrip MT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Colstrip MT. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Montana community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Montana colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Colstrip MT 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Montana board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN Programs

RN assisting surgeon in Colstrip MTThere are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Colstrip MT. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Montana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Courses

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Colstrip MT area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 period of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Montana to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.

Online Nursing Programs

attending nursing school online in Colstrip MTEnrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Montana. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Colstrip MT home, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

What to Ask Nurse Programs

Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Montana and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Colstrip MT along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.

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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Colstrip MT.

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 essential that the Colstrip MT area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Montana or the state where you will be working.

Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Montana school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Colstrip MT 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 considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Colstrip MT medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.

Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Colstrip MT area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right RN School near Colstrip MT

Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Colstrip MT.

Why Did You Want to Become an RN?

When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready several ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.

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