How to Select a Nursing School in Monte Vista Colorado
Finding the best nursing school near Monte Vista CO may feel like a complex project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order 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 assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional factors to check out before you decide 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 healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Monte Vista CO medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 Monte Vista CO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Monte Vista CO. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief 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 prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 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 may 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Monte Vista CO or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Colorado board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Monte Vista CO. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Colorado approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Monte Vista CO area. The length of the training 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Colorado to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in Colorado. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Monte Vista CO home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Colorado and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Monte Vista CO and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
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 ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Monte Vista 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) as well as 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 Monte Vista CO area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Colorado or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Colorado school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Monte Vista 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 schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Monte Vista CO healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Monte Vista CO area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Monte Vista CO
Picking the right registered nursing college is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick 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 practicing nurse in Monte Vista CO.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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