How to Pick a Nursing School in Lake Elmo Minnesota
Finding the right nursing program in Lake Elmo MN may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Having said that, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system in Lake Elmo MN. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Lake Elmo MN with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Lake Elmo MN.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Lake Elmo MN healthcare 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) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Lake Elmo MN colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 commonly 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.
After 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Lake Elmo MN board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Lake Elmo MN approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately 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. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Lake Elmo MN to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Lake Elmo MN healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Lake Elmo MN 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 earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools in Lake Elmo MN.
- 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) as well as 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Minnesota school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Lake Elmo 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Lake Elmo MN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Lake Elmo MN clinical setting. Virtually all Minnesota 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 local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree in Lake Elmo MN
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Lake Elmo MN.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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