How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Rockvale Tennessee
Searching for the best nursing program near Rockvale TN may seem like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Rockvale TN medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Rockvale TN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Rockvale TN. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Tennessee community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Tennessee 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Rockvale TN or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Tennessee board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Rockvale TN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Tennessee approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Rockvale TN 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 receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Tennessee to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Tennessee. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Rockvale TN home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Tennessee and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Rockvale TN and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Rockvale 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Rockvale TN area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Tennessee school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Rockvale 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 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Rockvale TN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Rockvale TN area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Rockvale TN
Choosing the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select 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 produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Rockvale TN.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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