How to Choose a Nursing College in Clinton Washington
Choosing the best nursing program near Clinton WA may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Clinton WA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 administer primary or specialty care services in Clinton WA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Clinton WA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain 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 two year program made available by Washington community colleges. It preps 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 subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Washington colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Clinton WA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Washington board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Clinton WA. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Washington approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Clinton WA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Washington to make certain 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Washington. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Clinton WA home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Washington and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Clinton WA as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Clinton WA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along 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 imperative that the Clinton WA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Washington or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Washington school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Clinton WA 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Clinton WA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Clinton WA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Clinton WA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Clinton WA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to 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 abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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