How to Select a Nursing College in Lake Elmo Minnesota
Finding the right nursing college near Lake Elmo MN may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Lake Elmo MN healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing 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 higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Lake Elmo MN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Lake Elmo MN. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Minnesota community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Minnesota 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 may 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 generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lake Elmo MN or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Minnesota board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lake Elmo MN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Minnesota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 many 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 Lake Elmo MN area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program 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 Minnesota to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Minnesota. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Lake Elmo MN home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
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 pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Minnesota and the United States. So it is essential to reduce 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 Lake Elmo MN and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Lake Elmo MN.
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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Lake Elmo MN area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Minnesota school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Lake Elmo MN 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Lake Elmo MN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Lake Elmo MN area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School near Lake Elmo MN
Choosing the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lake Elmo MN.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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