How to Select a Nursing College near Pierce Idaho
Searching for the right nursing college near Pierce ID may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you 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 study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Pierce ID hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support 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 as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 common 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 receive 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 brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Pierce ID area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Idaho board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Pierce ID area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Pierce ID or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Idaho and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Pierce ID for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Idaho school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Pierce ID healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Pierce ID medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Pierce ID hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount 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 accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Pierce ID students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Pierce ID?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Pierce 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 first discovery of gold in Idaho (then Washington Territory) was made by Elias D. Pierce and Wilbur F. Bassett on Orofino Creek (Canal Gulch) in October 1860, a mile (1.6 km) north of Pierce.
Pierce was the first county seat for Shoshone County, which was established in January 1861 in Washington Territory and for a most of its first year included most of present-day Idaho and Wyoming. The Pierce Courthouse, constructed in 1862, is Idaho's oldest public building.Idaho Territory was established in 1863, and the county seat moved north to the Silver Valley in Murray in 1884 (and to Wallace in 1898). Present-day Clearwater County, formed in 1911, was part of Shoshone County until 1904, when it was annexed by Nez Perce County.
Pierce is located at 46°29′33″N 115°47′58″W / 46.49250°N 115.79944°W / 46.49250; -115.79944 (46.492566, -115.799466), at an elevation of 3,094 feet (943 m) above sea level. It is located on the Weippe Prairie, north of the Clearwater River canyon.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Pierce ID
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select 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 practicing nurse in Pierce ID.
More Awesome Locations in Idaho