How to Pick a Nursing School in Dayton Washington
Searching for the right nursing program near Dayton WA may feel like a complex project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many important 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, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Dayton WA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Dayton WA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Dayton WA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn 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 generally a two year program offered by Washington community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Washington colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Dayton WA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Washington board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Dayton WA. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Washington 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 most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Dayton WA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Washington to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with 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 Schools
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Washington. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Dayton WA home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Washington and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Dayton WA along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Dayton WA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) along 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 essential that the Dayton WA area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Washington school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Dayton WA 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 colleges 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 unhappy 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 Dayton WA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Dayton WA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Dayton WA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Dayton WA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize some ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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