How to Find the Right Nursing School near Mackay Idaho
Finding the best nursing school near Mackay ID may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Mackay ID hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent 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
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 is more than one degree option 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two 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 Mackay ID area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually 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 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 typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Idaho board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Mackay ID area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Mackay ID or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within 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 pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Mackay ID for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Idaho school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Mackay 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Mackay ID healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Mackay ID hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Mackay ID students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with very 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 busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Mackay ID?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Mackay 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.
The climate of Mackay ranges from lows of -40 °F (-40 °C) to highs of +30 °F (-1 °C) in the winter. In the summer, temperatures range from lows of 30 °F (-1 °C) to highs of 100 °F (38 °C) in some areas. Mackay has a fairly dry climate, typical of high desert bordering alpine areas.
The main athletic attraction in the city is Mackay High School. The Miners have won ten state championships in football in the 1A (previously A-4) division and five state championships in basketball. Volleyball, girls' basketball and track are other athletic opportunities in Mackay.
As of the census of 2010, there were 517 people, 247 households, and 137 families residing in the city. The population density was 601.2 inhabitants per square mile (232.1/km2). There were 352 housing units at an average density of 409.3 per square mile (158.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.8% White, 0.2% African American, 0.6% Native American, and 0.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Mackay ID
Choosing the right registered nursing school is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you choose 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 produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Mackay ID.
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