How to Pick a Nursing School in Garwood Texas
Choosing the right nursing program near Garwood TX may feel like a complex project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Garwood TX healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, 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 functions 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
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Garwood TX, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Garwood TX. And in order 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 continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Texas community colleges. It prepares 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 more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Texas 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 might wish 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Garwood TX or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Garwood TX. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain 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, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 Texas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Garwood TX area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets 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 Texas to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Texas. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Garwood TX home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 obligations 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 busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Texas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Garwood TX as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
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. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Garwood TX.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Garwood TX area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Texas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Texas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Garwood TX 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 schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Garwood TX medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Garwood TX area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course near Garwood TX
Picking the right registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Garwood TX.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must ready several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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