How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Waterford Michigan
Locating the right nursing program near Waterford MI may seem like a difficult project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Waterford MI medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 Waterford MI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Waterford MI. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Michigan community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Michigan colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Waterford MI or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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 requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Waterford MI. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, 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 guarantees that the course of study adequately 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Waterford 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 receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally 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. In addition to 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.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Michigan. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Waterford MI home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Michigan and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Waterford MI along with the expense of tuition are probably 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 decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Waterford MI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with 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 important that the Waterford MI area school you are attending not only delivers 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. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Michigan school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Waterford 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Waterford MI medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Waterford MI area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Waterford MI
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Waterford MI.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose 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 qualities and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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