How to Find the Right Nursing College in Merrill Wisconsin
Choosing the best nursing school near Merrill WI may feel like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to explore before you decide 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 care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Merrill WI medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Merrill WI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Merrill WI. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Wisconsin community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards 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 four year program offered at Wisconsin colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Merrill WI or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Wisconsin board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Merrill WI. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Wisconsin approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Merrill WI area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 period of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Wisconsin to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Wisconsin. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Merrill WI home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Wisconsin and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Merrill WI along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Merrill WI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 Merrill WI area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Wisconsin school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Merrill 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Merrill WI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Merrill WI area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Merrill WI
Choosing the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Merrill WI.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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