How to Select a Nursing School in Lampasas Texas
Searching for the right nursing school near Lampasas TX may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Lampasas TX medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Lampasas TX, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Lampasas 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 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Texas community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Texas 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 desire 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Lampasas TX or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lampasas TX. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, 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 warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lampasas TX area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Texas to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Texas. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Lampasas TX home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional 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. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Texas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Lampasas TX along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Lampasas TX.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Lampasas TX area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Texas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Texas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Lampasas 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 programs 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Lampasas TX medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Lampasas TX 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 associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Lampasas TX
Picking the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Lampasas TX.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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