How to Find the Right Nursing Program in North Platte Nebraska
Searching for the best nursing program near North Platte NE may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the North Platte NE medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support 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 in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping 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 normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in North Platte NE, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in North Platte NE. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Nebraska community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Nebraska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in North Platte NE or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Nebraska board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in North Platte NE. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the North Platte NE area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must 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 prerequisites. So it’s important 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 tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Nebraska to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Nebraska. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your North Platte NE home, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Nebraska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to North Platte NE and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near North Platte NE.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 important that the North Platte NE area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Nebraska or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Nebraska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby North Platte 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the North Platte NE healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all North Platte NE area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near North Platte NE
Selecting 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 aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in North Platte NE.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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