How to Find the Right Nursing College in Lone Tree Iowa
Searching for the right nursing college near Lone Tree IA may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional things to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Lone Tree IA medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Lone Tree IA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Lone Tree IA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Iowa community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Iowa colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lone Tree IA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lone Tree IA. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 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 attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lone Tree IA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain 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 recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Iowa to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Iowa. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Lone Tree IA home, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Lone Tree IA along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Lone Tree 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Lone Tree IA area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Lone Tree IA 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Lone Tree IA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Lone Tree IA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Lone Tree IA
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Lone Tree IA.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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