How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Sumner Washington
Locating the right nursing college in Sumner WA may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system in Sumner WA. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Sumner WA with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Sumner WA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Sumner WA medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use 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 in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Sumner 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 may desire 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 normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Sumner WA board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering 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 Sumner WA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for Sumner WA to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Sumner WA healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Sumner WA and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools in Sumner WA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Washington school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Sumner WA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Sumner WA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Sumner WA clinical environment. Almost all Washington nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program in Sumner WA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Sumner WA.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and topics that pertain 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 interviewer.
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