How to Find the Right Nursing School in Lowell Wisconsin
Selecting the right nursing school near Lowell WI may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional things to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Lowell WI healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 Lowell WI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Lowell WI. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Wisconsin community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Wisconsin 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 might wish 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lowell 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 don’t forget to check with the Wisconsin board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lowell WI. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 attests 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 education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lowell WI area. The length of the instruction 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 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 minimum period of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Wisconsin to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Wisconsin. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Lowell WI home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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 family obligations have left you with very 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 active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Wisconsin and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Lowell WI along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Lowell WI.
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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Lowell WI area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Wisconsin school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Lowell WI 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 programs you are looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Lowell WI medical 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. Essentially all Lowell WI area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Lowell WI
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lowell WI.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize several ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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