How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Lincoln Kansas
Choosing the best nursing school near Lincoln KS may seem like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Lincoln KS healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Lincoln KS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Lincoln KS. And in order 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 advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Kansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 wish 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 usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lincoln KS or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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 vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lincoln KS. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, 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 advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying 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 type of credential you seek, it should be Kansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lincoln KS area. The length 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 have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Kansas to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to 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 Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Kansas. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Lincoln KS home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 job and family responsibilities have left you with limited 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.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Kansas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Lincoln KS as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary 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 evaluate how your selection compares 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Lincoln KS.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Lincoln KS area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Kansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Lincoln 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 schools 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 unhappy 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 Lincoln KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Lincoln KS area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Lincoln KS
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lincoln KS.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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