How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Leland Illinois
Selecting the right nursing college near Leland IL may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Leland IL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Leland IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Leland IL. And to become an RN, a student must attend 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 available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies 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 previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Leland IL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Leland IL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, 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 option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering 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 syllabus adequately 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 earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Leland IL area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Illinois to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Illinois. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Leland IL home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Leland IL as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Leland IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Leland IL area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Leland IL 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 considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Leland IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Leland IL area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Leland IL
Choosing the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Leland IL.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When prepping 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 often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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