How to Find the Right Nursing College in Republic Washington
Selecting the right nursing school near Republic WA may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary 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 final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Republic WA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced 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 Republic WA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Republic WA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in 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 six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Washington community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 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 may want 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Republic WA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Washington board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Republic WA. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 kind of credential you pursue, it should be Washington approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Republic WA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Washington to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with 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 Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Washington. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Republic WA home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of 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 mentioned, the site of the school relative to Republic WA and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Republic WA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 Republic WA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Washington or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Washington school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Republic 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Republic WA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Republic WA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Republic WA
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Republic WA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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