How to Find the Right Nursing College in Independence Kansas
Searching for the right nursing college in Independence KS may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job 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 extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Independence KS. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Independence KS with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Independence KS.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Independence KS medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Independence KS colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Independence KS board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second 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 advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Independence KS approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial 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 Independence KS 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Independence KS healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Independence KS and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools in Independence KS.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Kansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Independence KS 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Independence KS medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Independence KS clinical environment. Essentially all Kansas nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree in Independence KS
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Independence KS.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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