How to Select a Nursing College in Old Hickory Tennessee
Selecting the right nursing program near Old Hickory TN may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Old Hickory TN medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level 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 Old Hickory TN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Old Hickory TN. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short 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 prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Tennessee colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Old Hickory TN or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Tennessee board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Old Hickory TN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit 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 seek, it should be Tennessee approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Old Hickory TN area. The duration of the instruction 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training 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 specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Old Hickory TN home, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments 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 active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if 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 a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Tennessee and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Old Hickory TN as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. 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 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. In addition to helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Old Hickory TN.
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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Old Hickory TN area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Tennessee or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Tennessee school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Old Hickory TN 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 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Old Hickory TN medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Old Hickory TN area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Old Hickory TN
Selecting the right registered nursing college is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Old Hickory TN.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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