How to Select a Nursing School in Chattahoochee Florida
Selecting the best nursing college near Chattahoochee FL may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Chattahoochee FL medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Chattahoochee FL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Chattahoochee FL. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire 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 summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Florida community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Florida colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Chattahoochee FL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Florida board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Chattahoochee FL. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive 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 Florida approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Chattahoochee FL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 minimum amount of training directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Florida to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Florida. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Chattahoochee FL home, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Chattahoochee FL and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Chattahoochee FL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Chattahoochee FL area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Florida school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Chattahoochee 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 programs 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 unhappy 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 Chattahoochee FL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Chattahoochee FL area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Chattahoochee FL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Chattahoochee FL.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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