How to Select a Nursing School in Wahiawa Hawaii
Choosing the best nursing program near Wahiawa HI may feel like a complex project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential 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 role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Wahiawa HI healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Wahiawa HI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Wahiawa HI. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Hawaii community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Hawaii colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Wahiawa HI 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Hawaii board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Wahiawa HI. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Hawaii approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Wahiawa HI area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Hawaii to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Hawaii. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Wahiawa HI home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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 work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe 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 pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Hawaii and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Wahiawa HI and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Wahiawa HI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Wahiawa HI area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Hawaii or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Hawaii school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Wahiawa HI 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 looking at 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Wahiawa HI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Wahiawa HI area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Wahiawa HI
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Wahiawa HI.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Hawaii