How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Germantown Wisconsin
Choosing the best nursing school near Germantown WI may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Germantown WI medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Germantown WI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Germantown WI. And in order 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 advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Wisconsin community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Wisconsin colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Germantown WI 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 change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Wisconsin board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Germantown WI. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Wisconsin approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Germantown WI area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Wisconsin to make certain that the training 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 additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in Wisconsin. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Germantown WI home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Wisconsin and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Germantown WI and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Germantown WI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) 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 Germantown WI area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations 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 Wisconsin school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Germantown WI 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Germantown WI medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Germantown WI area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Germantown WI
Choosing the right registered nursing college is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick 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 licensed RN in Germantown WI.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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