How to Choose a Nursing School in Clear Lake Minnesota
Locating the right nursing program in Clear Lake MN may feel like a challenging project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Having said that, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Clear Lake MN. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Clear Lake MN with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in 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 six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Clear Lake MN.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Clear Lake MN healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Clear Lake MN colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he 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 get in touch with the Clear Lake MN board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd 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, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Clear Lake MN 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 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 length 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial 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 Clear Lake MN to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Clear Lake MN healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Clear Lake MN and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify 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 Clear Lake MN.
- 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Minnesota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Clear Lake MN healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Clear Lake MN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Clear Lake MN clinical environment. Almost all Minnesota nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course in Clear Lake MN
Picking the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Clear Lake MN.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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