How to Choose a Nursing College in Grimes Iowa
Selecting the right nursing school near Grimes IA may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know 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 appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Grimes IA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 Grimes IA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Grimes IA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on 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 usually a 2 year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It prepares 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 ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Iowa colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Grimes IA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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 change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Iowa board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Grimes IA. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides 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 Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Grimes IA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Iowa to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Iowa. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Grimes IA home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on 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 start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Grimes IA as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Grimes IA.
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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Grimes IA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Iowa school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Grimes IA 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Grimes IA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Grimes IA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out 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 Program near Grimes IA
Selecting the right registered nursing school is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important 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 produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Grimes IA.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous variables 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 profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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