How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Bridgewater Michigan
Finding the best nursing college near Bridgewater MI may seem like a complex project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Bridgewater MI healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Bridgewater MI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Bridgewater MI. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve 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 Michigan community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Michigan colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Bridgewater MI or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Michigan board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bridgewater MI. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with 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 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 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.
Unlike some 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 Bridgewater MI area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Michigan 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Michigan. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Bridgewater MI home, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with limited 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 Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Michigan and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Bridgewater MI as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Bridgewater 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Bridgewater MI area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Michigan school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Bridgewater 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Bridgewater MI medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Bridgewater MI area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Bridgewater MI
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bridgewater MI.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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