How to Select a Nursing School in Pauls Valley Oklahoma
Locating the best nursing program near Pauls Valley OK may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Pauls Valley OK healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Pauls Valley OK, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Pauls Valley OK. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve 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 normally a 2 year program made available by Oklahoma community colleges. It prepares 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 achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Oklahoma colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Pauls Valley OK or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Oklahoma board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Pauls Valley OK. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 Oklahoma 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 most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pauls Valley OK area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Oklahoma to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Oklahoma. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Pauls Valley OK home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with little 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.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Oklahoma and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Pauls Valley OK as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole 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 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 assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Pauls Valley OK.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Pauls Valley OK area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Oklahoma or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Oklahoma school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Pauls Valley 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 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Pauls Valley OK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Pauls Valley OK area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Pauls Valley OK
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Pauls Valley OK.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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