How to Find the Right Nursing College in Leavenworth Washington
Choosing the right nursing program in Leavenworth WA may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Having said that, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system in Leavenworth WA. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Leavenworth WA with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Leavenworth WA.
- 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 Leavenworth WA healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Leavenworth WA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Leavenworth WA board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Leavenworth WA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many 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 one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 period of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Leavenworth WA to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Leavenworth WA healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Leavenworth WA and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things 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 evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools in Leavenworth WA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Washington school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Leavenworth WA 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 programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Leavenworth WA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Leavenworth WA clinical environment. Essentially all Washington nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School in Leavenworth WA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select 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 practicing nurse in Leavenworth WA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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