How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Rainier Washington
Finding the right nursing school in Rainier WA may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function 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 healthcare delivery system in Rainier WA. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Rainier WA with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 offered 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 as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Rainier WA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Rainier WA medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Rainier WA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Rainier WA board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Rainier WA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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 directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Rainier WA 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 additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Rainier WA healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Rainier WA and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools in Rainier WA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent 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 reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Washington school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Rainier WA 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 schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Rainier WA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Rainier WA clinical environment. Virtually all Washington nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College in Rainier WA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional 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 pick 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 RN in Rainier WA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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