How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Cheyenne Wells Colorado
Selecting the right nursing program near Cheyenne Wells CO may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional things to investigate before you make a decision 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, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Cheyenne Wells CO healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Cheyenne Wells CO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Cheyenne Wells CO. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Colorado community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 want 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Cheyenne Wells CO 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 vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Colorado board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Cheyenne Wells CO. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Colorado approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cheyenne Wells CO area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Colorado to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates 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 programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Colorado. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Cheyenne Wells CO home, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other 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 job and family 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 hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Colorado and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Cheyenne Wells CO along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Cheyenne Wells CO.
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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Cheyenne Wells CO area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Colorado school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Cheyenne Wells CO 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 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 unhappy 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 Cheyenne Wells CO medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Cheyenne Wells CO area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near Cheyenne Wells CO
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Cheyenne Wells CO.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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