How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Baytown Texas
Choosing the best nursing school in Baytown TX may seem like a difficult undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Having said that, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function 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 medical care delivery system in Baytown TX. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job 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 functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Baytown TX with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Baytown TX.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Baytown TX healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Baytown TX colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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 fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Baytown TX board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. 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 pursue, it needs to be Baytown TX approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain 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 contact the health or nursing board for Baytown TX 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Baytown TX healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Baytown TX and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure 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 initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools in Baytown TX.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a certain 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 exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Texas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Texas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Baytown TX 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Baytown TX medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Baytown TX clinical setting. Virtually all Texas nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree in Baytown TX
Choosing the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Baytown TX.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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