How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Van Meter Iowa
Selecting the right nursing program near Van Meter IA may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various crucial additional things to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Van Meter IA medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Van Meter IA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Van Meter 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 two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Iowa community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 want 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 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Van Meter 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Iowa board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Van Meter IA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth 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 guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Van Meter IA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Iowa. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Van Meter IA home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Van Meter IA as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Van Meter IA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Van Meter IA area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. 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 call some local Van Meter 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Van Meter IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Van Meter IA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Van Meter IA
Choosing the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you select an RN college 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 create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Van Meter IA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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