How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Thompsons Texas
Choosing the best nursing program near Thompsons TX may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea 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 receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various crucial additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Thompsons TX healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Thompsons TX, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Thompsons TX. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve 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 typically a two year program offered by Texas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive 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 previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Thompsons TX or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Thompsons TX. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. 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 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Thompsons TX area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Texas. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Thompsons TX home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Texas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Thompsons TX along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Thompsons 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) in addition to 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 Thompsons TX area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Texas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Texas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Thompsons 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Thompsons TX medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Thompsons TX area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Thompsons TX
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Thompsons TX.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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