How to Find the Right Nursing College in Fond du Lac Wisconsin
Finding the best nursing school in Fond du Lac WI may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Having said that, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system in Fond du Lac WI. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Fond du Lac WI with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 are multiple degrees 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in Fond du Lac WI.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Fond du Lac WI medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Fond du Lac WI colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Fond du Lac WI board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn 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, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Fond du Lac 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Fond du Lac WI to make sure that the education 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 other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Fond du Lac WI healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Fond du Lac WI and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously 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 only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Fond du Lac WI.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Wisconsin school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Fond du Lac 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Fond du Lac WI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Fond du Lac WI clinical setting. Almost all Wisconsin nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program in Fond du Lac WI
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Fond du Lac WI.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating 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 best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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