How to Select a Nursing Program in Shelbyville Tennessee
Finding the right nursing college near Shelbyville TN may seem like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Shelbyville TN healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating 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 complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Shelbyville TN, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Shelbyville 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 obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Tennessee community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Tennessee colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Shelbyville TN or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Tennessee board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Shelbyville TN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, normally 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 option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Tennessee approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively 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 instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Shelbyville TN area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 minimum amount of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary 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 tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Tennessee to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Tennessee. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Shelbyville TN home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Tennessee and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Shelbyville TN along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Shelbyville TN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Shelbyville TN area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Tennessee school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Shelbyville 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 finish 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Shelbyville TN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Shelbyville TN area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Shelbyville TN
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Shelbyville TN.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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