How to Pick a Nursing Program in Tomah Wisconsin
Selecting the best nursing college near Tomah WI may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review 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 Tomah WI medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 Tomah WI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Tomah 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 two years, or advance to obtain 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 usually a 2 year program made available by Wisconsin community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately 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 Wisconsin colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Tomah WI or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Wisconsin board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Tomah WI. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Tomah WI area. The length 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program 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 Wisconsin to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Wisconsin. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Tomah WI home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Wisconsin and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Tomah WI along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Tomah WI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Tomah WI area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Wisconsin school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Tomah 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 programs 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Tomah WI medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Tomah WI area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Tomah WI
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Tomah WI.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Wisconsin