How to Select a Nursing School in Calumet Oklahoma
Choosing the best nursing school in Calumet OK may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Calumet OK. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist 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. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Calumet OK with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in Calumet OK.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Calumet OK medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Calumet OK colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Calumet OK board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Calumet OK approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 Calumet OK to make certain that the education 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 additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Calumet OK healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Calumet OK and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Calumet OK.
- 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Oklahoma or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Oklahoma school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Calumet OK 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 schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Calumet OK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Calumet OK clinical setting. Almost all Oklahoma nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program in Calumet OK
Choosing the right registered nursing school is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Calumet OK.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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