How to Select a Nursing College in Greensburg Kentucky
Locating the best nursing school in Greensburg KY may seem like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Having said that, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system in Greensburg KY. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Greensburg KY with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Greensburg KY.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Greensburg KY healthcare 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) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Greensburg KY 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 might desire 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Greensburg KY board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Greensburg KY approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Greensburg KY to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Greensburg KY healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Greensburg KY and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools in Greensburg KY.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified 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 a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Kentucky school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Greensburg KY 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 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 displeased 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 Greensburg KY medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Greensburg KY clinical setting. Virtually all Kentucky nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College in Greensburg KY
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Greensburg KY.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Some Cities in Kentucky You May be Interested In