How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Wagoner Oklahoma
Selecting the best nursing program near Wagoner OK may feel like a complex project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Wagoner OK medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Wagoner OK, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Wagoner OK. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Oklahoma community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including 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) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Oklahoma colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Wagoner OK or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Oklahoma board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Wagoner OK. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative 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, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 guarantees 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.
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 Wagoner OK area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Oklahoma to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Oklahoma. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Wagoner OK home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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 pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Oklahoma and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Wagoner OK as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
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 ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Wagoner OK.
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) in addition to 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 important that the Wagoner OK area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Oklahoma or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Oklahoma school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Wagoner 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 finish 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Wagoner OK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Wagoner OK area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Wagoner OK
Selecting the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Wagoner OK.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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