How to Choose a Nursing Program in Casselberry Florida
Locating the right nursing program in Casselberry FL may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Casselberry FL. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Casselberry FL with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in Casselberry FL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Casselberry FL healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Casselberry FL 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 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 commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Casselberry FL board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing 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 seek, it should be Casselberry FL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Casselberry FL to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Casselberry FL healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Casselberry FL and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Casselberry FL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Florida or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Florida school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Casselberry FL 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 colleges 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Casselberry FL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Casselberry FL clinical setting. Almost all Florida nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School in Casselberry FL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select an RN college 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 create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Casselberry FL.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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