RN Nursing Programs in Merrimac WI 53561

How to Pick a Nursing Program in Merrimac Wisconsin

Merrimac WI Registered NurseChoosing the right nursing program near Merrimac WI may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job 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 most significant occupation in the Merrimac WI healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating 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 complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Merrimac WI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Merrimac WI. And in order 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 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Wisconsin community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Wisconsin colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Merrimac WI or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Wisconsin board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN Certificates and Degrees

RN assisting surgeon in Merrimac WIThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Merrimac WI. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Programs

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Merrimac WI area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Wisconsin to make sure that the education 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 might be additional requirements as well.

Online Nursing Schools

attending nursing school online in Merrimac WIEnrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Wisconsin. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Merrimac WI home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities 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 active schedule.

What to Ask Nurse Schools

Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Wisconsin and the United States. So it is essential to reduce 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 Merrimac WI as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Merrimac WI.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Merrimac WI area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing.

Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Wisconsin school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Merrimac WI healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 finish 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 Merrimac WI medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.

Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Merrimac WI area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Choose the Right RN Degree near Merrimac WI

Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick 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 Merrimac WI.

Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?

When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.

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