How to Choose a Nursing School in Walton Indiana
Selecting the best nursing program near Walton IN may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Walton IN medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting 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 high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Walton IN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Walton IN. 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 continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Indiana community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Walton IN or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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 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 scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Walton IN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Walton IN area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Indiana to make sure that the training course is state approved. 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 Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Indiana. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Walton IN home, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Indiana and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Walton IN and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points 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 see how your selection measures up 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. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Walton IN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Walton IN area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Indiana or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Indiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Walton IN 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 programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Walton IN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Walton 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 also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Walton IN
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Walton IN.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize some approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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