How to Find the Right Nursing School in Litchfield Nebraska
Selecting the right nursing program near Litchfield NE may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Litchfield NE healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Litchfield NE, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Litchfield NE. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve 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 normally a two year program made available by Nebraska community colleges. It readies 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 subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Nebraska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Litchfield NE or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Nebraska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Litchfield NE. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 kind 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 properly 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 Litchfield NE area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential 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 recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Nebraska to make sure 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Nebraska. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Litchfield NE home, this option may be a more accommodating solution 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 minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Nebraska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Litchfield NE and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Litchfield NE.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Litchfield NE area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Nebraska or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Nebraska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Litchfield 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 schools you are looking at 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Litchfield NE medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Litchfield NE 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 assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Litchfield NE
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Litchfield NE.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove 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 being a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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