RN Nursing Programs in Kansas

How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Kansas

Kansas Registered NurseLocating the best nursing college in Kansas may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Kansas medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Kansas, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Kansas. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Kansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Kansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 typically a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Kansas or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Kansas board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN and LVN Training

RN assisting surgeon in KansasThere are basically two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Kansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Courses

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Kansas to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.

Online Nursing Schools

attending nursing school online in KansasAttending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in Kansas. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue 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 Courses

Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Kansas and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price 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 only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.

Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools in Kansas.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.

Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Kansas healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.

Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Kansas nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Select the Right RN Degree in Kansas

Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Kansas.

Some Other Cities in Kansas

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