How to Pick a Nursing College in Cass City Michigan
Selecting the right nursing school near Cass City MI may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order 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 determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine 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 options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Cass City MI healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Cass City MI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Cass City MI. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive 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 explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Michigan community colleges. It prepares 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 obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Michigan colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Cass City MI or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Michigan board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Cass City MI. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering 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 needs to be Michigan approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other 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.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cass City MI area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain 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 tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Michigan to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Michigan. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Cass City MI home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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. So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Michigan and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Cass City MI and the cost of tuition are most likely 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 before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Cass City MI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Cass City MI area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Michigan 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 organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Michigan school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Cass City MI 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 looking at 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Cass City MI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Cass City MI area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Cass City MI
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects 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 situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you choose 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 produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Cass City MI.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Michigan