How to Pick a Nursing College near Harrison Idaho
Finding the best nursing college near Harrison ID may seem like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Harrison ID hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine 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 enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Harrison ID area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain 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 able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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 vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Idaho board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option 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 finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Idaho approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Harrison ID area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Harrison ID or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Idaho 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 along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Harrison ID for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 call some Harrison 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Harrison ID medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Harrison ID hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Harrison ID students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Harrison ID?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Harrison 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.
Harrison developed from a squatters homestead to a thriving village in about twelve years. A branch of the O.R. & N. Railroad from Tekoa, Washington, to Harrison was completed in 1890 and was a prime factor in the development of Harrison.
In 1891, Silas W. Crane settled on a timbered tract which joins the present city on the south and east. He built the first house in Harrison which remained in the Crane family until 1936. The building is now used as the Crane House Museum. The same year Fred Grant purchased the Fisher Brothers Sawmill in St. Maries and moved it to Harrison. Known as Grants Mill, it had a capacity of 60 thousand feet per day.
In 1892, S.W. Crane opened a general store. The first post office was established in 1893, the name was chosen and W.E. Crane became the first postmaster. W.S. Bridgeman opened a Gen. Merc. in 1893, and another general store was opened in 1894 by W.A. Reiniger.
Select the Right Nursing School near Harrison ID
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Harrison ID.
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