How to Select a Nursing School in Memphis Texas
Finding the best nursing school near Memphis TX may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you don’t know 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 appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Memphis TX medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty 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 area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Memphis TX, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Memphis 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 just two years, or advance to achieve 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 generally a 2 year program offered by Texas community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards 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 4 year program offered at Texas 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 might want to progress 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 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Memphis TX or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Memphis TX. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Texas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Memphis TX area. The length of the training 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with 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 sure that the training course 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 requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Texas. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly 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 Memphis TX home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Texas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Memphis TX along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Memphis TX.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Memphis TX area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Texas or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Texas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Memphis TX 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Memphis TX medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Memphis TX area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Memphis TX
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 Memphis TX.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim 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 make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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