How to Find the Right Nursing College in Leesburg Florida
Finding the best nursing program near Leesburg FL may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Leesburg FL medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Leesburg FL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Leesburg FL. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Florida community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Florida 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 desire 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Leesburg FL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Florida board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Leesburg FL. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike 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 Leesburg FL area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain 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 tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Florida to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Florida. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Leesburg FL home, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Leesburg FL as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Leesburg FL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 imperative that the Leesburg FL area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Florida 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 also. Also, check with the Florida school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Leesburg FL 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 colleges you are considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Leesburg FL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Leesburg FL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Leesburg FL
Selecting the right registered nursing college is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick 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 practicing nurse in Leesburg FL.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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