How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Arlington Washington
Selecting the right nursing college near Arlington WA may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Arlington WA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 Arlington WA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Arlington WA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Washington community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Washington colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Arlington WA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Washington board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Arlington WA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Washington approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly 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 attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Arlington WA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 period of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Washington to make sure that the training course 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 might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Washington. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Arlington WA home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Washington and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Arlington WA as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Arlington WA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Arlington WA area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Washington or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Washington school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Arlington WA 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 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 unhappy 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 Arlington WA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Arlington WA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Arlington WA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Arlington WA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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