How to Choose a Nursing School in Kirtland New Mexico
Locating the right nursing program near Kirtland NM may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential 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 job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Kirtland NM healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 Kirtland NM, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Kirtland NM. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by New Mexico community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at New Mexico colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 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 Kirtland NM or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the New Mexico board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Kirtland NM. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be New Mexico approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Kirtland NM area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for New Mexico to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in New Mexico. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Kirtland NM home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout New Mexico and the United States. So it is essential to decrease 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 Kirtland NM as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Kirtland NM.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Kirtland NM area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for New Mexico or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check 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 as well. Also, check with the New Mexico school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Kirtland NM healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Kirtland NM medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Kirtland NM area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Kirtland NM
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Kirtland NM.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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