How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Huntington Texas
Finding the best nursing school near Huntington TX may seem like a complex project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Huntington TX medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Huntington TX, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Huntington TX. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Texas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 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 wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Huntington TX or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) 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 and LVN Programs
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Huntington TX. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Texas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any 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.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Huntington TX area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Texas to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Texas. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Huntington TX home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. 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 decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Huntington TX as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Huntington TX.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Huntington TX area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Texas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, 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 Huntington 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Huntington TX medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Huntington TX area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Huntington TX
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Huntington TX.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you would like to address them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities 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 topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Texas