How to Pick a Nursing Program in Blountstown Florida
Selecting the right nursing college near Blountstown FL may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Blountstown FL medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Blountstown FL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Blountstown FL. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain 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 generally a two year program offered by Florida community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Florida colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Blountstown FL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Blountstown FL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Florida approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Blountstown FL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure 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 check with the health or nursing board for Florida to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as 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.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Florida. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Blountstown FL home, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Blountstown FL along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Blountstown FL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Blountstown FL area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Florida school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Blountstown FL 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Blountstown FL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Blountstown FL area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course near Blountstown FL
Selecting the right registered nursing program is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select 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 Blountstown FL.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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