How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Mount Pleasant Tennessee
Selecting the best nursing school near Mount Pleasant TN may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional things to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Mount Pleasant TN medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Mount Pleasant TN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Mount Pleasant TN. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve 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 generally a two year program offered by Tennessee community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Tennessee colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Mount Pleasant TN or concentrate 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Tennessee board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Mount Pleasant TN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Mount Pleasant TN area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course 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 education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Tennessee. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Mount Pleasant TN home, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse 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 use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Tennessee and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Mount Pleasant TN and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Mount Pleasant TN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Mount Pleasant TN area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all 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 speak with some regional Mount Pleasant TN 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Mount Pleasant TN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Mount Pleasant TN area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Mount Pleasant TN
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Mount Pleasant TN.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Tennessee