How to Choose a Nursing Program in Newell Iowa
Selecting the right nursing college near Newell IA may seem like a difficult project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional things to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Newell IA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization 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
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Newell IA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Newell IA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in 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 brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Iowa community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 wish 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Newell IA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Newell IA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Newell IA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Iowa to make certain that the training course 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 other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in Iowa. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Newell IA home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, 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 so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Newell IA and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Newell IA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Newell IA area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Newell 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Newell IA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Newell 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. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Newell IA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Newell IA.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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