How to Pick a Nursing School in Menlo Washington
Choosing the right nursing program near Menlo WA may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look 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 essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Menlo WA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Menlo WA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Menlo WA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Washington community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Washington colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Menlo WA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Washington board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Menlo WA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option 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, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Washington approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Menlo WA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Washington to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Washington. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Menlo WA home, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Washington and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Menlo WA and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Menlo WA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Menlo WA area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Washington school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Menlo WA 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Menlo 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. Almost all Menlo WA area nursing degree programs require a specific 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 regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Menlo WA
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Menlo WA.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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