RN Nursing Programs in Knoxville TN 37901

How to Select a Nursing Program in Knoxville Tennessee

Knoxville TN Registered NurseSelecting the right nursing school near Knoxville TN may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially 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 must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Knoxville TN medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular 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
  • Overseeing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Managing 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 generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Knoxville TN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Knoxville TN. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Tennessee community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four 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 want 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Knoxville TN or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Tennessee board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN Certificates and Degrees

RN assisting surgeon in Knoxville TNThere are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Knoxville TN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Courses

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Knoxville TN area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with 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 sure that the training course is state approved. Along with 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.

Online Nursing Schools

attending nursing school online in Knoxville TNEnrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Tennessee. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Knoxville TN home, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning 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 easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nurse Schools

Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Tennessee and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Knoxville TN and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Knoxville TN.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Knoxville TN area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing.

Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Tennessee school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Knoxville 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 colleges 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Knoxville TN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.

Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Knoxville TN area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right RN Program near Knoxville TN

Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical 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 ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Knoxville TN.

Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?

When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready several strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.

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