How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Garden City Idaho
Searching for the best nursing college near Garden City ID may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Garden City ID hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the care 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 few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order 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 continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Garden City ID area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Idaho board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Idaho approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at Garden City ID area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 amount of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also 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 sure that the education is state certified. Along with 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.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Garden City ID or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Idaho and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Garden City ID for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Idaho school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Garden City ID 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 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 unhappy 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 Garden City ID healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Garden City ID hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Garden City ID students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Garden City ID?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Garden City 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.
Garden City, Idaho
Garden City was named for gardens raised by Chinese immigrants who lived in the area. The name of the city's only main street, Chinden Boulevard, is a portmanteau of the words "China" and "garden." In the second decade of the 21st century, it became a haven for artists' studios due to its cheap rents and eclectic ambience.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.17 square miles (10.80 km2), of which, 4.04 square miles (10.46 km2) is land and 0.13 square miles (0.34 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 10,972 people, 4,878 households, and 2,849 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,715.8 inhabitants per square mile (1,048.6/km2). There were 5,429 housing units at an average density of 1,343.8 per square mile (518.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.2% White, 1.0% African American, 1.1% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 7.1% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.8% of the population.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Garden City ID
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Garden City ID.
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