How to Find the Right Nursing College in Lincolnshire Illinois
Locating the right nursing college near Lincolnshire IL may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, 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 critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Lincolnshire IL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Lincolnshire IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Lincolnshire IL. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 desire 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Lincolnshire IL or focus 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lincolnshire IL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn 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, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly 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 attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lincolnshire IL area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 certain that the education is state approved. 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 Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Illinois. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Lincolnshire IL home, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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 busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Lincolnshire 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 stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Lincolnshire IL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 Lincolnshire IL area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Lincolnshire 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 schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Lincolnshire IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Lincolnshire IL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Lincolnshire IL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select 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 practicing RN in Lincolnshire IL.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare several ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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