How to Choose a Nursing College in Antigo Wisconsin
Choosing the best nursing school near Antigo WI may seem like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Antigo WI healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 administer primary or specialty care services in Antigo WI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Antigo WI. 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 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 normally a two year program made available by Wisconsin community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Wisconsin colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Antigo WI or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Wisconsin board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Antigo WI. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Wisconsin approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Antigo WI area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Wisconsin to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Wisconsin. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Antigo WI home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Wisconsin and the United States. So it is essential to lower 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 Antigo WI and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
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. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Antigo WI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Antigo WI area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Wisconsin school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Antigo WI 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Antigo WI medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Antigo WI area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Antigo WI
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select 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 licensed registered nurse in Antigo WI.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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