How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Elk City Oklahoma
Searching for the right nursing college in Elk City OK may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system in Elk City OK. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Elk City OK 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Elk City OK.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Elk City OK healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Elk City OK colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 acquiring 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 obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Elk City OK board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Elk City OK approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Elk City OK 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 may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Elk City OK healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Elk City OK and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools in Elk City OK.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Oklahoma or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Oklahoma school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Elk City OK 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 schools 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Elk City OK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Elk City OK clinical setting. Virtually all Oklahoma nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College in Elk City OK
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Elk City OK.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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