How to Pick a Nursing College in Seward Nebraska
Finding the best nursing school near Seward 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, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Seward NE medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty 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. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating 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 complex 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 provide primary or specialty care services in Seward NE, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Seward NE. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Nebraska community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Nebraska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Seward NE or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Nebraska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Seward NE. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Nebraska 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Seward NE area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Nebraska to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Nebraska. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Seward NE home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
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 utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Nebraska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Seward NE as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Seward NE.
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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Seward NE area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Nebraska or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Nebraska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Seward NE healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Seward NE healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Seward NE area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Seward NE
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Seward NE.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Nebraska