How to Choose a Nursing Program in Central Lake Michigan
Choosing the right nursing college near Central Lake MI may feel like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Central Lake MI medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role 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 along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Central Lake MI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Central Lake 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 earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Michigan community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Central Lake MI or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Michigan board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Central Lake MI. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying 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 pursue, it should 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.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Central Lake MI area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 certain that the education 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Michigan. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Central Lake MI home, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary 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 work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Michigan and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Central Lake MI as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
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. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Central Lake MI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Central Lake MI area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Michigan or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Michigan school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Central Lake 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Central Lake MI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Central Lake MI area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Central Lake MI
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Central Lake MI.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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