How to Choose a Nursing School in North Platte Nebraska
Finding the best nursing school in North Platte NE may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system in North Platte NE. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid 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 as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in North Platte NE with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available 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 as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in North Platte NE.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in North Platte NE medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at North Platte NE 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 may 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 typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the North Platte NE board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be North Platte NE approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for North Platte NE to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local North Platte NE healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout North Platte NE and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools in North Platte NE.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Nebraska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Nebraska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby North Platte NE 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 considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the North Platte NE medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a North Platte NE clinical environment. Essentially all Nebraska nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program in North Platte NE
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in North Platte NE.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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