How to Select a Nursing School in Fulton Mississippi
Choosing the best nursing program near Fulton MS may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Fulton MS healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care 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. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Fulton MS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Fulton MS. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Mississippi community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Mississippi colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Fulton MS 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Mississippi board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Fulton MS. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Fulton MS area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Mississippi 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Mississippi. 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 performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Fulton MS home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Mississippi and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Fulton MS and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, 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 other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Fulton MS.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Fulton MS area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Mississippi or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Mississippi school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Fulton MS 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Fulton MS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Fulton MS area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Fulton MS
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Fulton MS.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering 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, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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