How to Pick a Nursing Program in Port Arthur Texas
Choosing the right nursing college near Port Arthur TX may feel like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various crucial additional things to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Port Arthur TX medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job 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. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Port Arthur TX, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Port Arthur TX. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Texas community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Texas colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Port Arthur TX or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Texas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Port Arthur TX. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Texas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Port Arthur TX area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 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 period of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Texas to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Texas. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Port Arthur TX home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Texas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Port Arthur TX along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Port Arthur TX.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together 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 Port Arthur TX area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Texas or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Texas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Port Arthur TX 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 programs you are looking at 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 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 Port Arthur TX healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Port Arthur TX area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Port Arthur TX
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list 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 nurse in Port Arthur TX.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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