How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Sprague Washington
Locating the right nursing program in Sprague WA may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Sprague WA. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific 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:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Sprague WA with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Sprague WA.
- 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 Sprague WA healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Sprague WA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Sprague WA board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Sprague WA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to 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 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Sprague WA to make sure that the training 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 might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Sprague WA healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Sprague WA and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools in Sprague WA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) in addition to 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Washington school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Sprague 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Sprague WA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Sprague WA clinical environment. Essentially all Washington nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various 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 placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree in Sprague WA
Selecting the right registered nursing college is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Sprague WA.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready several ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities 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 a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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