How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Bay City Texas
Choosing the right nursing school in Bay City TX may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Having said that, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Bay City TX. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Bay City TX with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Bay City TX.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Bay City TX healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Bay City TX colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 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 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Bay City TX board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Bay City TX approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Bay City TX to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Bay City TX healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Bay City TX and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools in Bay City TX.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Texas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Texas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Bay City TX 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Bay City TX medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Bay City TX clinical setting. Essentially all Texas nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School in Bay City TX
Choosing the right registered nursing college is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Bay City TX.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should ready a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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