RN Nursing Programs in Houma LA 70360

How to Select a Nursing Program in Houma Louisiana

Houma LA Registered NurseLocating the right nursing college near Houma LA may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Houma LA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Houma LA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Houma LA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Louisiana community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Louisiana colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Houma LA 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 change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Louisiana board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN Programs

RN assisting surgeon in Houma LAThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Houma LA. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, 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 Louisiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Training

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Houma LA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Louisiana 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.

Online Nursing Programs

attending nursing school online in Houma LAAttending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Louisiana. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Houma LA home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Things to Ask Nurse Schools

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Louisiana and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Houma LA as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Houma LA.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Houma LA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Louisiana or the state where you will be working.

Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Louisiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Houma LA 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 programs 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Houma LA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.

Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Houma LA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right RN School near Houma LA

Picking the right registered nursing program is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Houma LA.

Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?

When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.

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