How to Find the Right Nursing College in Salem Oregon
Searching for the right nursing college near Salem OR may feel like a difficult project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Salem OR medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family 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 particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 provide primary or specialty care services in Salem OR, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Salem OR. And in order 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 advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Oregon community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Oregon 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 may want 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 commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Salem OR or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Oregon board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Salem OR. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Salem OR area. The length 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 required to receive 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 amount of training required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Oregon to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in Oregon. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Salem OR home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more 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 work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Oregon and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Salem OR along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Salem OR.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Salem OR area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Oregon or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Oregon school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Salem OR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Salem OR healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help 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 Salem OR area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Salem OR
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Salem OR.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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