How to Choose a Nursing Program in Wood River Nebraska
Searching for the best nursing program near Wood River NE may seem like a difficult project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Wood River NE medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Wood River NE, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Wood River NE. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Nebraska community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Nebraska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Wood River NE or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Nebraska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Wood River NE. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with 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 kind of credential you pursue, it should be Nebraska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively 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 earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Wood River NE area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Nebraska to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Nebraska. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Wood River NE home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Nebraska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Wood River NE and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Wood River NE.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Wood River NE area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Nebraska or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Nebraska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Wood River NE 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 colleges you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Wood River NE medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Wood River NE area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Wood River NE
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Wood River NE.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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