How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Big Bend Wisconsin
Choosing the right nursing program in Big Bend WI may feel like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system in Big Bend WI. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Big Bend WI with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Big Bend WI.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Big Bend WI medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Big Bend WI 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 might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after achieving 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 obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Big Bend WI board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 pursue, it should be Big Bend WI approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Big Bend WI to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Big Bend WI healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Big Bend WI and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools in Big Bend WI.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Wisconsin school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Big Bend WI 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Big Bend WI medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Big Bend WI clinical setting. Almost all Wisconsin nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree in Big Bend WI
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each 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 pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Big Bend WI.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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