How to Choose a Nursing College in Cordova Tennessee
Finding the right nursing school near Cordova TN may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to investigate before you make a decision 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 healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Cordova TN medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Cordova TN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Cordova TN. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Tennessee community colleges. It prepares 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 attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Tennessee colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Cordova TN or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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 change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Tennessee board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Cordova TN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, 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 normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Tennessee approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study 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 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 Cordova TN area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets 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 Tennessee to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Tennessee. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Cordova TN home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Tennessee and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Cordova TN as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Cordova TN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Cordova TN area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Tennessee school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Cordova TN 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 schools 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Cordova TN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Cordova TN area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Cordova TN
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 Cordova TN.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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