How to Choose a Nursing School in Northwood Ohio
Locating the right nursing program near Northwood OH may feel like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Northwood OH medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care 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. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Northwood OH, 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 Northwood OH. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Ohio community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Ohio colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Northwood OH or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Ohio board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Northwood OH. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Ohio approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Northwood OH area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with 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 Ohio 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Ohio. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Northwood OH home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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 job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Ohio and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Northwood OH and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
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 ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Northwood OH.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Northwood OH area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Ohio or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Ohio school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Northwood OH 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Northwood OH medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Northwood OH area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Northwood OH
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Northwood OH.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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