How to Select a Nursing Program in Scottsbluff Nebraska
Choosing the right nursing college near Scottsbluff NE may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Scottsbluff NE medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Scottsbluff NE, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Scottsbluff NE. And 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 advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Nebraska community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Nebraska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Scottsbluff NE or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Nebraska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Scottsbluff NE. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 Nebraska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly 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 education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Scottsbluff NE area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training 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 Nebraska 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 might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Nebraska. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Scottsbluff NE home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Nebraska and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Scottsbluff NE and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Scottsbluff NE.
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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Scottsbluff NE area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Nebraska or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Nebraska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Scottsbluff 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Scottsbluff NE medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Scottsbluff NE area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Scottsbluff NE
Picking the right registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Scottsbluff NE.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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