How to Select a Nursing Program in Audubon Iowa
Searching for the best nursing program in Audubon IA may feel like a complex undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Audubon IA. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help 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 along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Audubon IA with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in Audubon IA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Audubon IA healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Audubon IA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Audubon IA board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Audubon IA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction 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 minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial 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 recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Audubon IA to make sure 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 might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Audubon IA healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Audubon IA and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Audubon IA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Audubon IA 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 Audubon IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Audubon IA clinical setting. Virtually all Iowa nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College in Audubon IA
Selecting the right registered nursing program is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Audubon IA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must ready a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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