How to Select a Nursing Program in Ogallala Nebraska
Choosing the right nursing program near Ogallala NE may seem like a complicated undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Ogallala NE healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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 Ogallala NE, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Ogallala NE. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 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 normally a two year program made available by Nebraska community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Nebraska 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 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 commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Ogallala NE or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Nebraska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Ogallala NE. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Nebraska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Ogallala NE area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Nebraska to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Nebraska. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Ogallala NE home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Nebraska and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Ogallala NE as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Ogallala NE.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Ogallala NE area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Nebraska or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at 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 too. Also, get in touch with the Nebraska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Ogallala NE 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Ogallala NE healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Ogallala NE area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Ogallala NE
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized 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 using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Ogallala NE.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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