How to Pick a Nursing School near Cascade Idaho
Searching for the right nursing school near Cascade ID may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate 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 ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price 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 select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Cascade ID hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in 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 offered in the Cascade ID area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Idaho board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Idaho approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Cascade ID area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 required 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 minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Cascade ID or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Idaho and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Cascade ID for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Idaho school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Cascade ID 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 schools 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Cascade ID medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Cascade ID hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Cascade ID students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Cascade ID?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cascade Idaho area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cascade is located on the southeast shore of Lake Cascade, formerly known as "Cascade Reservoir." With the introduction of the Tamarack Resort in 2004, the name was officially changed to sidestep the negative marketing connotations of "reservoir." It was formed by the completion of Cascade Dam, on the north side of the city. Construction by the Bureau of Reclamation began in 1942, was halted during World War II, and completed in 1948.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.86 square miles (12.59 km2), of which, 4.17 square miles (10.80 km2) is land and 0.69 square miles (1.79 km2) is water.
Cascade is approximately 70 miles (110 km) north of Boise, accessed via State Highway 55, the Payette River Scenic Byway, a designated national scenic byway. It heads north from Eagle in Ada County to Horseshoe Bend in Boise County, and climbs the whitewater of the Payette River to Cascade. SH-55 continues north to McCall, where it turns west at Payette Lake and continues to New Meadows in Adams County, ending at the junction with US-95.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Cascade ID
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Cascade ID.
More Awesome Locations in Idaho