How to Select a Nursing School in Horn Lake Mississippi
Selecting the right nursing school near Horn Lake MS may seem like a complex project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into 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 offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Horn Lake MS medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Horn Lake MS, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Horn Lake MS. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Mississippi community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Mississippi colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Horn Lake MS or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Mississippi board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Horn Lake MS. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Mississippi approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Horn Lake MS area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Mississippi to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Mississippi. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Horn Lake MS home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Mississippi and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Horn Lake MS and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Horn Lake MS.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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 imperative that the Horn Lake MS area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Mississippi or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Mississippi school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Horn Lake 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 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 Horn Lake MS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Horn Lake 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 as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near Horn Lake MS
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Horn Lake MS.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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