How to Pick a Nursing School in Audubon Iowa
Locating the right nursing college near Audubon IA may feel like a challenging endeavor, 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 need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to look into before you make a decision 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 medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Audubon IA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care 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. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Audubon IA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Audubon IA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Iowa 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 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 normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Audubon IA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Audubon IA. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly 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 earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Audubon IA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure 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 tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Iowa to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in Iowa. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Audubon IA home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Audubon IA and the cost 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 prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Audubon IA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along 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 important that the Audubon IA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Iowa school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Audubon IA 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 schools 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Audubon IA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Audubon IA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program near Audubon IA
Selecting the right registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college 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 develop 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Audubon IA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety 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 exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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