How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Dekalb Illinois
Selecting the best nursing school in Dekalb IL may feel like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order 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 evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Having said that, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system in Dekalb IL. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Dekalb IL with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 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 enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in Dekalb IL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Dekalb IL healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher 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 Dekalb IL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after acquiring 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Dekalb IL board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Dekalb IL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Dekalb IL to make certain 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 requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Dekalb IL healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Dekalb IL and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably 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 choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools in Dekalb IL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) together with 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 school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Dekalb IL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Dekalb IL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Dekalb IL clinical environment. Virtually all Illinois nursing degree programs require a specific 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 regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course in Dekalb IL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select an RN school 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 create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Dekalb IL.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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