How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Eatonville Washington
Searching for the right nursing college near Eatonville WA may seem like a difficult 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 must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Eatonville WA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Eatonville WA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Eatonville WA. 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 continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Washington community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 desire 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 commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Eatonville WA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he 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 make sure to get in touch with the Washington board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Eatonville WA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Washington approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Eatonville WA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Washington. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Eatonville WA home, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes 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 can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Washington and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Eatonville WA and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
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 assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Eatonville WA.
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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Eatonville WA area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Washington school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Eatonville WA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 complete 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Eatonville WA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Eatonville WA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Eatonville WA
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Eatonville WA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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