RN Nursing Programs in Atascosa TX 78002

How to Pick a Nursing Program in Atascosa Texas

Atascosa TX Registered NurseFinding the best nursing college near Atascosa TX may feel like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Atascosa TX medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 Atascosa TX, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Atascosa TX. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain 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 normally a 2 year program offered by Texas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Texas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Atascosa TX or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.

LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees

RN assisting surgeon in Atascosa TXThere are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Atascosa TX. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Texas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Training

In contrast to some 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 Atascosa TX area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Texas to make certain that the education 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 may be other prerequisites as well.

Online Nursing Degrees

attending nursing school online in Atascosa TXEnrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in Texas. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Atascosa TX home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps 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 chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Texas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Atascosa TX along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Atascosa TX.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 imperative that the Atascosa TX area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Texas or the state where you will be practicing.

Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Texas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Atascosa TX 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 colleges 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Atascosa TX healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.

Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Atascosa TX area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Choose the Right RN Degree near Atascosa TX

Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Atascosa TX.

Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?

When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.

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