How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Beaufort Missouri
Selecting the best nursing college near Beaufort MO may feel like a complex undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Beaufort MO healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Beaufort MO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Beaufort MO. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Missouri community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain 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 Missouri 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 advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Beaufort MO or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Missouri board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Beaufort MO. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Missouri 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 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Beaufort MO area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Missouri to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Missouri. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Beaufort MO home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive 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 a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Missouri and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Beaufort MO and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Beaufort MO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Beaufort MO area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Missouri or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Missouri school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Beaufort MO 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 schools 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Beaufort MO medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Beaufort MO area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Beaufort MO
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Beaufort MO.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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