How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Sioux Falls South Dakota
Choosing the right nursing program in Sioux Falls SD may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you don’t know 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 appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Sioux Falls SD. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Sioux Falls SD with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Sioux Falls SD.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Sioux Falls SD healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Sioux Falls SD colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Sioux Falls SD board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 type of credential you seek, it needs to be Sioux Falls SD approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study 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 acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Sioux Falls SD to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Sioux Falls SD healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Sioux Falls SD and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools in Sioux Falls SD.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the South Dakota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Sioux Falls SD healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Sioux Falls SD medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Sioux Falls SD clinical setting. Almost all South Dakota nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree in Sioux Falls SD
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in 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 short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Sioux Falls SD.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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