How to Choose a Nursing College in Trenton Tennessee
Locating the right nursing school near Trenton TN may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional aspects to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Trenton TN medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Trenton 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 Trenton 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 two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Tennessee community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Tennessee colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Trenton TN or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Tennessee board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Trenton TN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about one 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 typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Tennessee approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many 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 Trenton TN area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Tennessee to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Tennessee. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Trenton TN home, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more 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 household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Tennessee and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Trenton TN along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Trenton TN.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Trenton TN area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Tennessee or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Tennessee school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Trenton TN healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Trenton TN medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Trenton TN area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Trenton TN
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Trenton TN.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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