How to Find the Right Nursing College in Schaumburg Illinois
Choosing the best nursing program near Schaumburg IL may seem like a difficult undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Schaumburg IL medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 Schaumburg IL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Schaumburg IL. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Schaumburg IL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Schaumburg IL. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to 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 Schaumburg IL area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program 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 sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Illinois. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Schaumburg IL home, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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. So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Schaumburg IL as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things 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 see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
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 organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Schaumburg 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Schaumburg IL area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Schaumburg 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Schaumburg IL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Schaumburg IL area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Schaumburg IL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you select 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 create a shortlist 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Schaumburg IL.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing 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 interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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