How to Find the Right Nursing School in Lees Summit Missouri
Selecting the best nursing school near Lees Summit MO may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Lees Summit MO medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Lees Summit MO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Lees Summit MO. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Missouri community colleges. It readies 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 afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Missouri colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Lees Summit MO or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Missouri board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lees Summit MO. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Missouri approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike 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 Lees Summit MO area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific 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 check with the health or nursing board for Missouri to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Missouri. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Lees Summit MO home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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 pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Missouri 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 previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Lees Summit MO and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Lees Summit MO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Lees Summit MO area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Missouri or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each 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 determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Lees Summit 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Lees Summit MO medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Lees Summit MO area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Lees Summit MO
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lees Summit MO.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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