How to Select a Nursing School in Alma Michigan
Finding the right nursing college near Alma MI may seem like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Alma MI medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Alma MI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Alma MI. And 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 achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Michigan community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Michigan 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 might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Alma MI or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Michigan board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Alma MI. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Michigan approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Alma MI area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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 minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Michigan to make sure that the education 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 requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in Michigan. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Alma MI home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited 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.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Michigan and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Alma MI along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. 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 selection compares to the other programs.
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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Alma MI.
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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Alma MI area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Michigan or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Michigan school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Alma MI 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 schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish 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 Alma MI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Alma MI area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Alma MI
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Alma MI.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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