How to Pick a Nursing College in Bismarck North Dakota
Locating the best nursing program near Bismarck ND may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Bismarck ND healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Bismarck ND, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Bismarck ND. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain 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 2 year program offered by North Dakota community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at North Dakota colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Bismarck ND or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the North Dakota board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bismarck ND. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be North Dakota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bismarck ND area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for North Dakota to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in North Dakota. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Bismarck ND home, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout North Dakota 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 mentioned, the location of the school relative to Bismarck ND as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Bismarck ND.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 Bismarck ND area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for North Dakota or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the North Dakota school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Bismarck ND 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 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 favorable reputation within the Bismarck ND healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Bismarck ND area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Bismarck ND
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Bismarck ND.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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