How to Select a Nursing Program in Rockford Tennessee
Searching for the best nursing program near Rockford TN may seem like a challenging project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Rockford TN medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Rockford TN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Rockford TN. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Tennessee community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Tennessee colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Rockford TN or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Tennessee board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Rockford TN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Tennessee approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Rockford TN area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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 minimum period of training directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Tennessee to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Tennessee. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Rockford TN home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Tennessee and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Rockford TN along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first 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 pick compares to the other programs.
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 verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Rockford TN.
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) along with 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 Rockford TN area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Tennessee or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Tennessee school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Rockford 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 colleges you are looking at 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Rockford TN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Rockford TN area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Rockford TN
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Rockford TN.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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