How to Find the Right Nursing College in Midland Texas
Selecting the best nursing program near Midland TX may feel like a difficult endeavor, 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 must obtain the appropriate 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 ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Midland TX healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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 instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Midland TX, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Midland TX. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Texas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Texas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Midland TX or focus 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Midland TX. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Midland TX area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Texas to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with 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.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Texas. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Midland TX home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if 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 realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Texas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Midland TX along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Midland TX.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Midland TX area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Texas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Texas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Midland 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 schools 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Midland TX healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Midland TX area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Midland TX
Choosing the right registered nursing college is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors 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 status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Midland TX.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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