How to Select a Nursing School in Colby Wisconsin
Finding the right nursing program near Colby WI may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Colby WI medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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 advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Colby WI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Colby WI. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Wisconsin community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive 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 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 two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Colby 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Wisconsin board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Colby WI. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike 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 Colby WI area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 Wisconsin to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to 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.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Wisconsin. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Colby WI home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Wisconsin and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Colby WI along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Colby WI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Colby WI area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Wisconsin or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Wisconsin school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Colby WI 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 schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Colby WI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Colby WI area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near Colby WI
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Colby WI.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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