How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Palisades Washington
Choosing the best nursing school near Palisades WA may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially 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 must acquire the proper education and training 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 final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Palisades WA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties 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
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Palisades WA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Palisades WA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Washington community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher 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 eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Palisades WA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Washington board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Palisades WA. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Washington approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Palisades WA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in 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 amount of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Washington to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Washington. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Palisades WA home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Washington and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Palisades WA as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Palisades 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) together 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 essential that the Palisades WA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Washington or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Washington school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Palisades WA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Palisades WA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Palisades WA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Palisades WA
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Palisades WA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready several strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Washington