How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Meridian Idaho
Finding the best nursing program near Meridian ID may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Meridian ID medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 Meridian ID, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Meridian ID. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Idaho community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Idaho 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 may wish 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 usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Meridian ID or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Idaho board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Meridian ID. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit 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. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Idaho approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Meridian ID area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Idaho 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in Idaho. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Meridian ID home, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Idaho and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Meridian ID along with the cost of tuition are most likely 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 evaluate how your pick 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 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 Meridian ID.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 Meridian ID area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Idaho school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Meridian ID 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 programs 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Meridian ID medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Meridian ID area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Meridian ID
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Meridian ID.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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