How to Pick a Nursing Program in Mount Juliet Tennessee
Finding the right nursing school near Mount Juliet TN may feel like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to check into 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 medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Mount Juliet TN medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job 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 specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Mount Juliet TN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Mount Juliet TN. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Tennessee community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Tennessee 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Mount Juliet TN or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Tennessee board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Mount Juliet TN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Tennessee approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Mount Juliet TN area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Tennessee to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Tennessee. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Mount Juliet TN home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Tennessee and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Mount Juliet TN and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
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. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Mount Juliet TN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Mount Juliet TN area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Tennessee school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Mount Juliet TN healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Mount Juliet TN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Mount Juliet TN area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Mount Juliet TN
Selecting the right registered nursing program is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Mount Juliet TN.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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