How to Find the Right Nursing School in Ocean Shores Washington
Locating the best nursing school in Ocean Shores WA may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Ocean Shores WA. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Ocean Shores WA with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 are several degree options to choose from 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Ocean Shores WA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Ocean Shores WA healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Ocean Shores WA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Ocean Shores WA board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with 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 seek, it needs to be Ocean Shores WA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 training directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Ocean Shores WA 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Ocean Shores WA healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Ocean Shores WA and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Ocean Shores WA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific 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 a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Washington school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Ocean Shores 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 schools you are looking at 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Ocean Shores WA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Ocean Shores WA clinical environment. Virtually all Washington nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College in Ocean Shores WA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Ocean Shores WA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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