How to Select a Nursing College in Pharr Texas
Finding the best nursing program near Pharr TX may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Pharr TX medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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 instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Pharr TX, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Pharr TX. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance 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 normally a 2 year program offered by Texas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Pharr TX or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Texas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Pharr TX. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 needs to be Texas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pharr TX area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Texas to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Texas. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Pharr TX home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Texas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Pharr TX as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Pharr 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Pharr TX area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Texas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Texas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Pharr 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Pharr TX medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Pharr TX area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Pharr TX
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Pharr TX.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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