How to Pick a Nursing School near Benton Illinois
Locating the best nursing school near Benton IL may seem like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Benton IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Benton IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive 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 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Benton IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 amount of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. 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.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Benton IL or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Benton 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. Many states require a specific 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 a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check 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 as well. Additionally, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Benton 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 programs you are considering 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Benton IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Benton IL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Benton IL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Benton IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Benton 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.
Benton, the county seat of Franklin County, took its name from the prominent senator from Missouri, Thomas Hart Benton (1782-1858). The village of Benton was organized in 1841 on 20 acres (81,000 m2) of property donated by John Ewing and Walter S. Akin. In 1902 the village became a city, and incorporated under the mayor/commissioner form of government.
Franklin County was platted in 1818, the year Illinois became a state, at twice its current size. It included the territory that is now Williamson County. In 1839 the county was split roughly in half and the county seat was permanently fixed "at a hill at the south end of Rowling's Prairie", the site of the future city of Benton.
The Franklin County Courthouse sits in the center of the Public Square. It is the third courthouse that has served the people of Franklin County. The Italianate building was constructed in 1874-75 at a cost of $27,500.00
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Benton IL
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Benton IL.
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