How to Choose a Nursing College in Lafayette Indiana
Locating the best nursing school near Lafayette IN may feel like a complex project, especially if you have no idea 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 acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Lafayette IN 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 basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping 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 Lafayette IN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Lafayette IN. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Indiana community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job 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) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Indiana 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 may wish 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 commonly a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lafayette IN or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Indiana board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lafayette IN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Indiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to 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 Lafayette IN area. The duration of the training program 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 mandated 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 minimal amount of instruction required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Indiana to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Indiana. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Lafayette IN home, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Indiana and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Lafayette IN and the cost of tuition are most likely 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 decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
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 agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Lafayette IN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 Lafayette IN area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Indiana or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Indiana school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Lafayette 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Lafayette IN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Lafayette IN area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Lafayette IN
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Lafayette IN.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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