How to Select a Nursing School in Saugatuck Michigan
Selecting the right nursing program in Saugatuck MI may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss 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 Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Saugatuck MI. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise 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
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Saugatuck MI with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in Saugatuck MI.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Saugatuck MI healthcare centers such as 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) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Saugatuck MI colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance 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 example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Saugatuck MI board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Saugatuck MI approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Saugatuck MI to make sure that the training course is state certified. 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 schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Saugatuck MI healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Saugatuck MI and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Saugatuck MI.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Michigan or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Michigan school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Saugatuck MI 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 programs 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Saugatuck MI medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Saugatuck MI clinical environment. Almost all Michigan nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School in Saugatuck MI
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Saugatuck MI.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready several strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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