How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Bend Oregon
Locating the best nursing school near Bend OR may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, 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 program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various crucial additional things to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Bend OR healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Bend OR, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Bend OR. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Oregon community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Oregon 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 might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Bend OR or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Oregon board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bend OR. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Oregon approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bend OR area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Oregon to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Oregon. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Bend OR home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Oregon and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Bend OR as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
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. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Bend OR.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Bend OR area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Oregon or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Oregon school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Bend OR 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Bend OR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Bend OR area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Bend OR
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Bend OR.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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