How to Pick a Nursing College in Mukilteo Washington
Locating the best nursing college near Mukilteo WA may feel like a difficult project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain 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 considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Mukilteo WA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Mukilteo WA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Mukilteo 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Washington community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Washington 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 may desire 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Mukilteo WA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Washington board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Mukilteo WA. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Washington approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately 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 have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Mukilteo WA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Washington. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Mukilteo WA home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. 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. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Washington and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Mukilteo WA as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, 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 schools.
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. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Mukilteo 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Mukilteo WA area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional 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 services to see what the evaluations are for all 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 Mukilteo 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Mukilteo WA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Mukilteo WA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Mukilteo WA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Mukilteo WA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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