How to Find the Right Nursing School in Arlington Heights Illinois
Finding the right nursing college near Arlington Heights IL may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Arlington Heights IL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as 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
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Arlington Heights IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Arlington Heights IL. 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 continue on to achieve 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 normally a 2 year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress 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 two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Arlington Heights IL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Arlington Heights IL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Arlington Heights IL area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to 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 growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Illinois. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Arlington Heights IL home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Arlington Heights IL and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Arlington Heights IL.
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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Arlington Heights IL area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Arlington Heights IL 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Arlington Heights IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Arlington Heights IL area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Arlington Heights IL
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose 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 licensed registered nurse in Arlington Heights IL.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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