How to Select a Nursing Program in Stilwell Kansas
Searching for the best nursing school near Stilwell KS may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Stilwell KS healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support 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. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising 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 advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Stilwell 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 Stilwell KS. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn 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 usually a 2 year program offered by Kansas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Kansas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Stilwell KS or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Kansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Stilwell KS. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some 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 Stilwell KS area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure 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 might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
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 attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Stilwell KS home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Kansas and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Stilwell KS along with the expense 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 ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Stilwell KS.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Stilwell KS area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Kansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Stilwell 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Stilwell KS medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Stilwell KS area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Stilwell KS
Selecting the right registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Stilwell KS.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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