How to Find the Right Nursing College in Lake Park Iowa
Searching for the best nursing college in Lake Park IA may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system in Lake Park IA. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including 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 particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Lake Park IA with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in Lake Park IA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Lake Park IA healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Lake Park 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 may wish 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 normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Lake Park IA board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Lake Park IA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure 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 tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Lake Park IA to make sure that the training 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 prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Lake Park IA healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Lake Park IA and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools in Lake Park IA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Iowa school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Lake Park IA 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 schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Lake Park IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Lake Park IA clinical setting. Almost all Iowa nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College in Lake Park IA
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Lake Park IA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you would like to respond to 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, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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