How to Choose a Nursing School in Spangle Washington
Searching for the best nursing program near Spangle WA may seem like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many essential additional things to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Spangle WA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing 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), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Spangle WA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Spangle WA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Washington community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive 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 past 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 typically a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Spangle WA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Washington board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Spangle WA. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 kind of credential you seek, it should be Washington approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Spangle WA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential 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 education 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 can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in Washington. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Spangle WA home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more 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 work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Washington and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Spangle WA along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Spangle WA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Spangle WA area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Washington or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Washington school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Spangle 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Spangle WA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Spangle WA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Spangle WA
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Spangle WA.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates 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 may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Washington