How to Pick a Nursing Program in Norris South Dakota
Selecting the right nursing school near Norris SD may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Norris SD medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Norris SD, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Norris SD. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by South Dakota community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at South Dakota colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Norris SD or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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 be sure to contact the South Dakota board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Norris SD. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be South Dakota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Norris SD area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for South Dakota to make sure that the training course 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.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in South Dakota. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Norris SD home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within South Dakota and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Norris SD along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify 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 Norris SD.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Norris SD area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the South Dakota school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Norris SD healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 good reputation within the Norris SD medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Norris SD area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near Norris SD
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Norris SD.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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