How to Pick a Nursing School near Bellwood Illinois
Searching for the best nursing college near Bellwood IL may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Bellwood IL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist 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 portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 multiple degrees 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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Bellwood IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Bellwood IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Bellwood IL or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Bellwood IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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. Many 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 attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bellwood IL 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Bellwood IL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Bellwood IL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Bellwood IL students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Bellwood IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Bellwood 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.
Bellwood is a village in Proviso Township, Cook County, Illinois, United States. Located 13 miles (21 km) west of Chicago's downtown Loop, the Village of Bellwood is bounded by the Eisenhower Expressway (south), the Proviso yards of the former Chicago & Northwestern, now Union Pacific Railroad (north), and the suburbs of Maywood (east) and Hillside and Berkeley (west). The population was 19,071 at the 2010 census.
As of the census of 2010, there were 19,071 people, 6,440 households, and 5,100 families residing in the village. The population density was 8,608.0 people per square mile (3,317.4/km²). There were 6,683 housing units at an average density of 2,801.4 per square mile (1,079.6/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 11.75% White, 81.73% African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.96% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.79% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.94% of the population.
There were 6,440 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 25.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.8% were non-families. 17.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.18 and the average family size was 3.57.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Bellwood IL
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Bellwood IL.
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