How to Pick a Nursing School in Summerland Key Florida
Locating the right nursing program near Summerland Key FL may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Summerland Key FL medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty 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 in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Summerland Key FL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Summerland Key FL. And in order 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Florida community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four 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 might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Summerland Key FL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she 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 don’t forget to contact the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Summerland Key FL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Florida approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Summerland Key FL area. The length of the training 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 have 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 period of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 sure that the training course 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Florida. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Summerland Key FL home, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Summerland Key FL as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Summerland Key FL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Summerland Key FL area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, 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 local Summerland Key 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 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 favorable reputation within the Summerland Key FL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Summerland Key FL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near Summerland Key FL
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you select an RN college 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 shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Summerland Key FL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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