How to Choose a Nursing College in Castroville Texas
Selecting the best nursing program near Castroville TX may feel like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Castroville TX medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Castroville TX, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Castroville TX. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Texas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Texas 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 might 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Castroville TX or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she 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 Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Castroville TX. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many 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 Castroville TX area. The length 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 receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain 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 tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Texas to make sure 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 requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Texas. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Castroville TX home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning 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 minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Texas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Castroville TX and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Castroville TX.
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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Castroville TX area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Texas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Texas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Castroville TX healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 dissatisfied 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 Castroville TX medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Castroville TX area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Castroville TX
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Castroville TX.
Why Did You Decide 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 hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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