How to Select a Nursing Program in Otis Orchards Washington
Finding the right nursing program near Otis Orchards WA may seem like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional things to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Otis Orchards WA medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Otis Orchards WA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Otis Orchards WA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Washington community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Washington 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 desire 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 commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Otis Orchards WA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Washington board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Otis Orchards WA. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 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 attests 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Otis Orchards WA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course 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 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 may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Washington. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Otis Orchards WA home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Washington and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Otis Orchards WA and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Otis Orchards WA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Otis Orchards WA area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Washington school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Otis Orchards 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 colleges 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Otis Orchards WA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Otis Orchards WA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Otis Orchards WA
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Otis Orchards WA.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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