How to Choose a Nursing School in Durant Oklahoma
Finding the best nursing school near Durant OK may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Durant OK medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Durant OK, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Durant OK. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two 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 available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Oklahoma community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Oklahoma colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Durant OK or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Oklahoma board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Durant OK. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. 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 complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides 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 Oklahoma approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Durant OK area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets 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 Oklahoma to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to 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
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Oklahoma. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Durant OK home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Oklahoma and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Durant OK along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Durant OK.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Durant OK area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Oklahoma or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Oklahoma school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Durant OK 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Durant OK 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 environment. Virtually all Durant OK area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Durant OK
Selecting the right registered nursing college is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Durant OK.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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