How to Select a Nursing School in Albany Oregon
Choosing the best nursing college near Albany OR may feel like a complicated 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 need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with 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 check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over 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 Albany OR medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support 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 as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 Albany OR, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Albany OR. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Oregon community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Oregon 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 may want to progress 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Albany OR or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Oregon board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Albany OR. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Oregon approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Albany OR area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Oregon 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Oregon. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Albany OR home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Oregon and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Albany OR as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors 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 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Albany OR.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Albany OR area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Oregon or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Oregon school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Albany OR 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 complete 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 superb reputation within the Albany OR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Albany OR area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Albany OR
Picking the right registered nursing school is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Albany OR.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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