How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Bowie Texas
Selecting the right nursing school near Bowie TX may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Bowie TX medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Bowie TX, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Bowie TX. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions 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 prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Texas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Bowie TX or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bowie TX. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Texas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bowie TX area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Texas to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in Texas. Many 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 conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Bowie TX home, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Texas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Bowie TX along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Bowie TX.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 important that the Bowie TX area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Texas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Texas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Bowie TX 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Bowie TX medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Bowie TX area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Bowie TX
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bowie TX.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Texas