How to Pick a Nursing School in Gretna Nebraska
Finding the best nursing program near Gretna NE may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, 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 research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Gretna NE healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Gretna NE, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Gretna NE. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Nebraska community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Nebraska 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 might desire 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 normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Gretna NE or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Nebraska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Gretna NE. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Nebraska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively 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 acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Gretna NE area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure 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 tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Nebraska to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Nebraska. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Gretna NE home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Nebraska and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Gretna NE and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Gretna NE.
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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Gretna NE area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Nebraska or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Nebraska school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Gretna NE healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Gretna NE medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Gretna NE area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Gretna NE
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Gretna NE.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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