How to Select a Nursing Program in Sour Lake Texas
Finding the right nursing school near Sour Lake TX may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Sour Lake TX healthcare 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 help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Sour Lake TX, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Sour Lake TX. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available 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 later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Texas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Sour Lake TX or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Sour Lake TX. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain 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 providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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.
In contrast to 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 Sour Lake TX area. The length of the training program 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 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 minimal period of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with 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 certain that the education 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 might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Texas. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Sour Lake TX home, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt 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 choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Sour Lake TX along with the price 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 evaluate how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Sour Lake 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Sour Lake TX area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Texas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Texas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Sour Lake 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Sour Lake TX medical 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 Sour Lake TX area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near Sour Lake TX
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Sour Lake TX.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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