How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Howard City Michigan
Finding the right nursing school near Howard City MI may seem like a complicated undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are various key additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Howard City MI medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including 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 particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions 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
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Howard City MI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Howard City MI. 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 just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six 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 offered by Michigan community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Howard City MI or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he 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.
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Howard City MI. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide 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 core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Howard City MI area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Michigan to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Michigan. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Howard City MI home, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Michigan and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Howard City MI along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Howard City MI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Howard City MI area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Michigan school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Howard City MI 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 colleges 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 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 superb reputation within the Howard City MI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Howard City MI area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Howard City MI
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose 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 licensed registered nurse in Howard City MI.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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