How to Pick a Nursing College in De Kalb Mississippi
Searching for the right nursing college near De Kalb MS may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the De Kalb MS healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of 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. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in De Kalb MS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in De Kalb MS. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Mississippi community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Mississippi colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in De Kalb MS or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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 fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Mississippi board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in De Kalb MS. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth 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 Mississippi approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the De Kalb MS area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 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 that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Mississippi 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Mississippi. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your De Kalb MS home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Mississippi and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to De Kalb MS and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near De Kalb MS.
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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the De Kalb MS area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Mississippi or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Mississippi school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby De Kalb MS healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the De Kalb MS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all De Kalb MS area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near De Kalb MS
Selecting the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in De Kalb MS.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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