How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Baxter Springs Kansas
Searching for the right nursing school near Baxter Springs KS may feel like a difficult project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Baxter Springs KS medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Baxter Springs KS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Baxter Springs KS. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations 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 preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 may want 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 commonly a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Baxter Springs KS or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Kansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Baxter Springs KS. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain 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 training, 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 Kansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Baxter Springs KS area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Kansas to make certain that the training course 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 other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Kansas. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Baxter Springs KS home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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 family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient 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, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Kansas and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Baxter Springs KS as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Baxter Springs KS.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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 important that the Baxter Springs KS area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch 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 all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Baxter Springs KS 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Baxter Springs KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Baxter Springs KS area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Baxter Springs KS
Choosing the right registered nursing college is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Baxter Springs KS.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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