How to Choose a Nursing Program in Lakin Kansas
Finding the best nursing program near Lakin KS may feel like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional things to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Lakin KS medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist 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 as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting 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 high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Lakin KS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Lakin KS. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Kansas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Kansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lakin 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Kansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lakin KS. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lakin KS area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Kansas to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Kansas. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Lakin KS home, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little 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 active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Kansas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Lakin KS as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors 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 see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Lakin KS.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Lakin KS area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares 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 as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Lakin 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 considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Lakin KS medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Lakin KS area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Lakin KS
Picking the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Lakin KS.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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