How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Port Saint Lucie Florida
Searching for the right nursing program near Port Saint Lucie FL may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Port Saint Lucie FL medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Port Saint Lucie FL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Port Saint Lucie FL. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Florida community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 may wish 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 two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Port Saint Lucie FL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Florida board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Port Saint Lucie FL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Port Saint Lucie FL area. The length of the instruction 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 obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary 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 certain 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.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Florida. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Port Saint Lucie FL home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Florida and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Port Saint Lucie FL and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Port Saint Lucie FL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Port Saint Lucie FL area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Florida school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Port Saint Lucie FL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Port Saint Lucie FL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Port Saint Lucie FL area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Port Saint Lucie FL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential 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 checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Port Saint Lucie FL.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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