How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Cross Plains Wisconsin
Selecting the best nursing program in Cross Plains WI may seem like a complex project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Cross Plains WI. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Cross Plains WI with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option 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 earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Cross Plains WI.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Cross Plains WI healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Cross Plains WI colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Cross Plains WI board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Cross Plains WI approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly 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 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 training 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Cross Plains WI to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to 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 Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Cross Plains WI healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional 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 work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Cross Plains WI and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools in Cross Plains WI.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) as well as 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 attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Wisconsin or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Wisconsin school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Cross Plains 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 considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Cross Plains WI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Cross Plains WI clinical environment. Essentially all Wisconsin nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree in Cross Plains WI
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate 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 Cross Plains WI.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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