How to Choose a Nursing School in Lake Mary Florida
Searching for the best nursing school near Lake Mary FL may seem like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional things to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Lake Mary FL medical care 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 general duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 administer primary or specialty care services in Lake Mary FL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Lake Mary FL. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Florida community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Florida colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Lake Mary FL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Florida board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lake Mary FL. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 syllabus adequately 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lake Mary FL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program 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 Florida to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in Florida. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Lake Mary FL home, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Lake Mary FL and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Lake Mary FL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Lake Mary FL area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Florida or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Florida school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Lake Mary 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 looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Lake Mary FL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Lake Mary FL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Lake Mary FL
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lake Mary FL.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready some ideas about how you want to address them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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