How to Pick a Nursing Program in Minot Afb North Dakota
Searching for the right nursing school near Minot Afb ND may seem like a difficult undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Minot Afb ND medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Minot Afb ND, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Minot Afb ND. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by North Dakota community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including 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) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at North Dakota colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Minot Afb ND or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the North Dakota board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Minot Afb ND. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 North Dakota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Minot Afb ND area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for North Dakota to make certain that the training 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 prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in North Dakota. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Minot Afb ND home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within North Dakota and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Minot Afb ND along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Minot Afb ND.
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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Minot Afb ND area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for North Dakota or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the North Dakota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Minot Afb ND 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 finish 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 favorable reputation within the Minot Afb ND medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Minot Afb ND area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Minot Afb ND
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Minot Afb ND.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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