How to Select a Nursing Program in Bath South Dakota
Searching for the right nursing school near Bath SD may seem like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Bath SD medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Bath SD, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Bath SD. And in order 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 brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by South Dakota community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at South Dakota 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 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Bath SD 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the South Dakota board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bath SD. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be South Dakota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bath SD area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for South Dakota 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in South Dakota. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Bath SD home, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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 job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within South Dakota and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Bath SD and the price of tuition are probably 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 selection, 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 make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Bath SD.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Bath SD area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the South Dakota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Bath SD 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 colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Bath SD healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Bath SD area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Bath SD
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Bath SD.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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