How to Choose a Nursing School in Cambria Wisconsin
Finding the best nursing program near Cambria WI may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently 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 study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Cambria WI healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Cambria WI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Cambria WI. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Wisconsin community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Wisconsin 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Cambria WI or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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 don’t forget to get in touch with the Wisconsin board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Cambria WI. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 warrants 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.
Unlike 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 Cambria WI area. The length 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Wisconsin to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Wisconsin. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Cambria WI home, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Wisconsin and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Cambria WI as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Cambria WI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 Cambria WI area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Wisconsin school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Cambria 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 colleges you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Cambria WI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Cambria WI area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Cambria WI
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Cambria WI.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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