How to Pick a Nursing College in Altamonte Springs Florida
Finding the best nursing college in Altamonte Springs FL may feel like a complex undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system in Altamonte Springs FL. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Altamonte Springs FL with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Altamonte Springs FL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Altamonte Springs FL healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Altamonte Springs FL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Altamonte Springs FL board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing 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 pursue, it needs to be Altamonte Springs FL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 Altamonte Springs FL to make sure 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Altamonte Springs FL healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Altamonte Springs FL and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Altamonte Springs FL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Florida or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Florida school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Altamonte Springs FL 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Altamonte Springs FL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Altamonte Springs FL clinical setting. Essentially all Florida nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College in Altamonte Springs FL
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Altamonte Springs FL.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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