How to Find the Right Nursing College in Ponca City Oklahoma
Searching for the right nursing school near Ponca City OK may seem like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function 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 primary occupation in the Ponca City OK medical care 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 support 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 along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing 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 more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Ponca City OK, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Ponca City OK. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations 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 utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Oklahoma 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 might want 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 commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Ponca City OK or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Oklahoma board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Ponca City OK. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Oklahoma approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Ponca City OK area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 period of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Oklahoma to make sure 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 other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Oklahoma. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Ponca City OK home, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Oklahoma and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Ponca City OK and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Ponca City OK.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 important that the Ponca City OK area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Oklahoma or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Oklahoma school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Ponca City 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 colleges 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Ponca City OK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Ponca City OK area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Ponca City OK
Choosing the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Ponca City OK.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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