How to Choose a Nursing School in Piedmont Missouri
Selecting the best nursing program near Piedmont MO may seem like a challenging project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Piedmont MO medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Piedmont MO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Piedmont MO. 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 achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations 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 preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Piedmont MO or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Missouri board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Piedmont MO. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing 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 pursue, it should be Missouri approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Piedmont MO area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Missouri to make certain that the education 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 additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Missouri. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Piedmont MO home, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, 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 Missouri and the United States. So it is necessary 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 Piedmont MO along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Piedmont MO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Piedmont MO area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Missouri or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Missouri school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Piedmont 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 colleges 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Piedmont MO medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Piedmont MO area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Piedmont MO
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Piedmont MO.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready several ideas about how you want to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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