How to Choose a Nursing Program in Wentzville Missouri
Searching for the best nursing school near Wentzville MO may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Wentzville MO medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Wentzville MO, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Wentzville MO. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Missouri community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Missouri colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Wentzville MO or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Missouri board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Wentzville MO. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Missouri approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Wentzville MO area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 sure that the training course is state approved. 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 Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Missouri. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Wentzville MO home, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Missouri and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Wentzville MO and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Wentzville MO.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Wentzville MO area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Missouri or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Missouri school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Wentzville 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Wentzville MO medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Wentzville MO 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 community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Wentzville MO
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Wentzville MO.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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