How to Select a Nursing School in Thornton Texas
Locating the right nursing school near Thornton TX may feel like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional factors to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Thornton TX medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Thornton TX, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Thornton TX. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Texas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Thornton TX or focus 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Thornton TX. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Texas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Thornton TX area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 minimum period of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Texas to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in Texas. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component 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 balance of the training can be accessed online in your Thornton TX home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Texas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Thornton TX as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Thornton TX.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Thornton TX area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Texas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Texas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Thornton 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Thornton TX healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Thornton TX area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Thornton TX
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist 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 practicing nurse in Thornton TX.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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