How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Hillside Illinois
Choosing the right nursing program near Hillside 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, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Hillside IL medical care 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 function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing 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 high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Hillside IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Hillside IL. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Illinois community colleges. It prepares 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 afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Hillside IL or focus 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Hillside IL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hillside IL area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Illinois to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in Illinois. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Hillside IL home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more 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 family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many 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 previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Hillside IL and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Hillside 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Hillside IL area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Hillside 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Hillside IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Hillside IL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Hillside IL
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many 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 economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Hillside IL.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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