How to Select a Nursing Program in South Bend Indiana
Choosing the right nursing college near South Bend IN may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the South Bend IN medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in South Bend IN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in South Bend IN. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Indiana community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Indiana colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in South Bend IN or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Indiana board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in South Bend IN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Indiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the South Bend IN area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimum amount of training directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for Indiana to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Indiana. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your South Bend IN home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach 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 economical. 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 household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Indiana and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to South Bend IN and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial 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 compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near South Bend 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the South Bend IN area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Indiana or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Indiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local South Bend 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the South Bend IN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all South Bend IN area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near South Bend IN
Picking the right registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending 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 each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in South Bend IN.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Indiana