How to Find the Right Nursing School in Abilene Kansas
Selecting the best nursing college near Abilene KS may seem like a complex project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Abilene KS medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Abilene KS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Abilene KS. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain 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 typically a 2 year program offered by Kansas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Kansas 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 may desire to progress 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Abilene KS or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Abilene KS. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Abilene KS area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 Kansas to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in Kansas. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Abilene KS home, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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. So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Kansas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Abilene KS and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Abilene KS.
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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Abilene KS area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas 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 considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Kansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Abilene KS 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 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 superb reputation within the Abilene KS medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Abilene KS area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites 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.
Select the Right RN Course near Abilene KS
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Abilene KS.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Kansas