How to Pick a Nursing College in Broomfield Colorado
Selecting the best nursing college near Broomfield CO may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Broomfield CO healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 administer primary or specialty care services in Broomfield CO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Broomfield CO. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Colorado community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including 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 expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Colorado 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 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Broomfield CO or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Colorado board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Broomfield CO. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying 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 Colorado approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Broomfield CO area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Colorado to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Colorado. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Broomfield CO home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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 household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Colorado and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Broomfield CO and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Broomfield CO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Broomfield CO area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Colorado school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Broomfield CO 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Broomfield CO medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Broomfield CO area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Broomfield CO
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Broomfield CO.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you would like to address them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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