How to Pick a Nursing College in Federal Way Washington
Locating the best nursing school near Federal Way WA may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Federal Way WA healthcare 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 duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Federal Way WA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Federal Way WA. 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 earn 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 typically a 2 year program made available by Washington community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as 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) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Washington colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Federal Way WA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Washington board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Federal Way WA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying 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 kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Washington approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Federal Way WA area. The length of the training program 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Washington to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Washington. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Federal Way WA home, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use 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 Washington and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Federal Way WA along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Federal Way WA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Federal Way WA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Washington or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Washington school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Federal Way 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Federal Way WA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Federal Way WA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Federal Way WA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Federal Way WA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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