How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Signal Mountain Tennessee
Finding the best nursing school near Signal Mountain TN may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Signal Mountain TN medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Signal Mountain TN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Signal Mountain TN. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Tennessee community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Tennessee colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Signal Mountain 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Tennessee board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Signal Mountain TN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 warrants that the course of study properly 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 Signal Mountain TN area. The length of the training program 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 receive 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 required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Tennessee to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with 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 Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Tennessee. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Signal Mountain TN home, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, 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 workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Signal Mountain TN as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Signal Mountain 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Signal Mountain TN area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with 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, get in touch with the Tennessee school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Signal Mountain 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 programs 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Signal Mountain TN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Signal Mountain TN area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Signal Mountain TN
Selecting the right registered nursing school is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you select 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 shortlist of schools to select 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 licensed RN in Signal Mountain TN.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you would like to address them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Tennessee