How to Find the Right Nursing School near Algonquin Illinois
Finding the right nursing school near Algonquin IL may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Algonquin IL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. 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.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Algonquin IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after receiving 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 obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Algonquin IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Algonquin IL or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Algonquin IL 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, 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 readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Algonquin IL 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 colleges you are considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Algonquin IL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Algonquin IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Algonquin IL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Algonquin IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Algonquin Illinois 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.
Algonquin is a village in Illinois located in both McHenry and Kane counties. It is a northwest suburb of Chicago, located approximately 40 miles from the Loop. The 2010 Census placed the Village's population at 30,046, growing considerably from the 2000 Census figure of 23,276.
The village is known as "The Gem of the Fox River Valley", since its downtown is nestled in the heart of Illinois' Fox River Valley. Established in 1890 and long known as a small river community, the village is making the transition into a major regional hub, as it has experienced considerable suburban growth over the past 20 years. Now stretching all the way west to the busy Randall Road corridor, Algonquin has become a major commercial center, with popular shopping centers and restaurants, as well as a growing corporate campus. Additionally, the village continues to see considerable residential growth. With this growth, the village has had to deal with challenges including traffic congestion and overburdened schools, yet has managed to increase the commercial tax base, preserve its character and history, and substantially increase its recreational offerings and quality of life.
According to the 2010 census, Algonquin has a total area of 12.41 square miles (32.14 km2), of which 12.23 square miles (31.68 km2) (or 98.55%) is land and 0.18 square miles (0.47 km2) (or 1.45%) is water. The majority of Algonquin is approximately 2/3 in McHenry County, with approximately 1/3 in Kane County.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Algonquin IL
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Algonquin IL.
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