How to Find the Right Nursing College in Dekalb Illinois
Choosing the right nursing program near Dekalb IL may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Dekalb 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 primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Dekalb IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Dekalb IL. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn 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 explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 progress 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Dekalb IL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Dekalb IL. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively 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 instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Dekalb IL area. The length of the training program 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 receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact 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 may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Illinois. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Dekalb IL home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Dekalb IL along with the expense 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 before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
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. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Dekalb IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Dekalb IL area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Dekalb 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 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 favorable reputation within the Dekalb IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Dekalb IL area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Dekalb IL
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Dekalb IL.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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