How to Find the Right Nursing College in Gallatin Tennessee
Locating the best nursing program near Gallatin TN may feel like a complex project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various crucial additional factors to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Gallatin TN healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Gallatin 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 Gallatin TN. 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 descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Tennessee community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Tennessee colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Gallatin TN or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Tennessee board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Gallatin TN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Tennessee approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Gallatin TN area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Tennessee to make sure that the education 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Tennessee. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Gallatin TN home, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Tennessee and the United States. So it is important to lower 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 Gallatin TN and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Gallatin TN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Gallatin TN area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Tennessee school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Gallatin 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 programs you are considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Gallatin TN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Gallatin TN area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Gallatin TN
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Gallatin TN.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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