How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Somerset Texas
Finding the best nursing school near Somerset TX may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order 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 evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Somerset TX medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting 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 more advanced 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 Somerset TX, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Somerset TX. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain 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 usually a two 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 use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Texas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Somerset TX or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Somerset TX. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, 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 alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Texas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Somerset TX area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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 amount of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally 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. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Texas. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Somerset TX home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, 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 within 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 already discussed, the site of the school relative to Somerset TX as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Somerset 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Somerset TX area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Texas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Texas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Somerset 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 colleges you are considering 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Somerset TX healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Somerset TX area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near Somerset TX
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care 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 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 Somerset TX.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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