How to Select a Nursing Program in Erie Kansas
Choosing the right nursing school in Erie KS may feel like a challenging endeavor, particularly 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 need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Having said that, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system in Erie KS. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Erie KS with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer 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 offered 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 as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Erie KS.
- 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 Erie KS healthcare facilities 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) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Erie KS colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Erie KS board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying 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 type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Erie KS approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and each 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 also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Erie KS to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Erie KS healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Erie KS and the United States. So it is necessary to lower 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 and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools in Erie KS.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Erie KS 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 looking at 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 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 Erie KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Erie KS clinical environment. Almost all Kansas nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School in Erie KS
Picking the right registered nursing college is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Erie KS.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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