How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Elwood Indiana
Selecting the best nursing program near Elwood IN may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Elwood IN healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing 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 more advanced degree may have more complex 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Elwood IN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Elwood IN. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve 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 normally a two year program made available by Indiana community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Indiana colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Elwood IN or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Indiana board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Elwood IN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive 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 Indiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Elwood IN area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and every 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 suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Indiana to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in Indiana. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Elwood IN home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Indiana and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Elwood IN along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Elwood IN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Elwood IN area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Indiana or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Indiana school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Elwood IN 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 schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Elwood IN medical 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. Almost all Elwood IN area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Elwood IN
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Elwood IN.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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