How to Choose a Nursing School in Huntington Utah
Searching for the best nursing school near Huntington UT may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Huntington UT healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid 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 along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Huntington UT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Huntington UT. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Utah community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain 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 Utah colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Huntington UT or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Utah board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Huntington UT. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Utah approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Huntington UT area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary 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 Utah 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 additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Utah. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Huntington UT home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding 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 may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Utah and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Huntington UT and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Huntington UT.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Huntington UT area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Utah or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Utah school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Huntington UT 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 colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Huntington UT medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Huntington UT 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 a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Huntington UT
Picking the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Huntington UT.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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