How to Select a Nursing Program in Logan Illinois
Finding the best nursing school in Logan IL may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional things to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system in Logan IL. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Logan IL with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. 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, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Logan IL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Logan IL healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Logan IL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Logan IL board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain 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, besides 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 kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Logan IL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Logan IL to make certain that the training course 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Logan IL healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Logan IL and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools in Logan IL.
- 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Illinois 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 as well. In addition, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Logan IL 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 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 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 Logan IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Logan IL clinical setting. Virtually all Illinois nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program in Logan IL
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Logan IL.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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