How to Pick a Nursing College in Almena Kansas
Locating the right nursing college in Almena KS may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to check out 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 health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Almena KS. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Almena KS with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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.
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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Almena KS.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Almena KS medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Almena KS colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after attaining 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 earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Almena KS board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Almena KS approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Almena KS to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Almena KS healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Almena KS and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools in Almena KS.
- 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Almena KS 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 colleges 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Almena KS medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Almena KS clinical environment. Almost all Kansas nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College in Almena KS
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Almena KS.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready some strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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