How to Choose a Nursing College in El Dorado Kansas
Choosing the best nursing college near El Dorado KS may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the El Dorado KS healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in El Dorado KS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in El Dorado KS. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six 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 made available by Kansas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Kansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in El Dorado KS or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in El Dorado KS. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative 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, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the El Dorado KS area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Kansas to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Kansas. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your El Dorado KS home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 obligations 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 busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Kansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to El Dorado KS along with the expense of tuition are probably 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 final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near El Dorado KS.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the El Dorado KS area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Kansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional El Dorado 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the El Dorado KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all El Dorado KS area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near El Dorado KS
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in El Dorado KS.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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