How to Choose a Nursing Program in Pittsburg Kansas
Choosing the best nursing college in Pittsburg KS may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search 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 in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Pittsburg KS. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Pittsburg KS with a higher 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 available 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 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Pittsburg KS.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Pittsburg KS healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Pittsburg 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Pittsburg KS board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Pittsburg KS approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study 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 attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Pittsburg KS to make sure that the education 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 Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Pittsburg KS healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental 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. So if your job and household 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.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Pittsburg KS and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Pittsburg 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. Some 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 readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Kansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Pittsburg 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 looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Pittsburg KS medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Pittsburg KS clinical setting. Almost all Kansas nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program in Pittsburg KS
Choosing the right registered nursing college is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, 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 develop a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Pittsburg KS.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many 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 work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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