How to Select a Nursing Program in Princeton Kentucky
Selecting the best nursing school in Princeton KY may feel like a complex undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Having said that, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system in Princeton KY. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Princeton KY with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 Degree Options
There are several degree options 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 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in Princeton KY.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Princeton KY medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Princeton KY colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Princeton KY board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Princeton KY approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain 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 one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 period of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Princeton KY to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Princeton KY healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more 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 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 more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Princeton KY and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools in Princeton KY.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Kentucky school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Princeton 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 programs 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Princeton KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Princeton KY clinical setting. Almost all Kentucky nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School in Princeton KY
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Princeton KY.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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