How to Pick a Nursing Program in Steger Illinois
Finding the right nursing college in Steger IL may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Having said that, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Steger IL. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, 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
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Steger IL with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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.
There are several degree options available 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in Steger IL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Steger IL medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Steger IL 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 wish 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 attaining 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 acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Steger IL board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice 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, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Steger IL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly 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 attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Steger IL to make sure that the training is state certified. 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 prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many 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 completed in a local Steger IL healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Steger IL and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Steger IL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Some 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 enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Steger IL 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Steger IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Steger IL clinical setting. Essentially all Illinois nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College in Steger IL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in 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 medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Steger IL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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