How to Pick a Nursing College in Aurora Illinois
Locating the best nursing program near Aurora IL may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially 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 need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Aurora IL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Aurora IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Aurora IL. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Illinois community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Illinois 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 might wish 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Aurora IL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Aurora IL. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Aurora IL area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Illinois. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Aurora IL home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Aurora IL along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
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. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Aurora IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Aurora IL area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Aurora IL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Aurora IL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Aurora IL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Aurora IL
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Aurora IL.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also 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 certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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