How to Pick a Nursing School in Cummings Kansas
Selecting the right nursing program near Cummings KS may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Cummings KS medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular 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
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Cummings KS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Cummings KS. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Kansas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers 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) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Kansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Cummings 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Cummings KS. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain 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 supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide 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 course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cummings KS area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to 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 important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Kansas to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Kansas. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Cummings KS home, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward 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.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Kansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Cummings KS and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
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. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Cummings KS.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Cummings KS area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Kansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Cummings KS healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are considering 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 Cummings KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Cummings KS 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. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Cummings KS
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Cummings KS.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare several ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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