How to Find the Right Nursing College in Richmond Michigan
Finding the right nursing college near Richmond MI may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various crucial additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Richmond MI medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. 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 Richmond MI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Richmond MI. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Michigan community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Michigan colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Richmond MI or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Michigan board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Richmond MI. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 core curriculum properly 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Richmond MI area. The length of the training 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure 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 recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Michigan to make sure 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in Michigan. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Richmond MI home, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more 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 job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Michigan and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Richmond MI as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first 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 decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Richmond MI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Richmond MI area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Michigan school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Richmond 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Richmond MI medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Richmond MI area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Richmond MI
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Richmond MI.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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