How to Select a Nursing Program near Berkeley Illinois
Choosing the best nursing college near Berkeley IL may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Berkeley IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions 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 higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Berkeley IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 usually a two year program after attaining 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 kind 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 warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at Berkeley IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to 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 specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. 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 Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Berkeley IL or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Berkeley 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) along 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 attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Berkeley IL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Berkeley IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Berkeley IL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some Berkeley IL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Berkeley IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Berkeley 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.
Berkeley is on Cook County's western border, 14 miles west of the Chicago Loop. With Interstates 290 and 294 forming its western and part of its southern boundary, and the Union Pacific Railroad (formerly the Chicago & North Western) and the large Proviso Railyard (a classification yard) to the north, Berkeley has ready access to the metropolitan region. Yet the transportation corridors that make Berkeley accessible to distant places also serve to separate the village from its nearest neighbors, creating a small-town atmosphere.
Beginning in 1835 the area that was to become Berkeley was home to farmers, most of German and Dutch ancestry. Settling on farms that ranged from 40 to 160 acres, the Dutch tended to be truck farmers, while the Germans did general farming. This small group of farm families established a one-room school called Sunnyside in 1848. Now housed in a larger and newer building, Sunnyside Elementary School still operates today. A short distance west on St. Charles Road (which was completed in 1836), farmland was donated for what is now known as Old Settler's Cemetery.
The 1902 completion of the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin Railroad (interurban) gave the area its first passenger rail service at a stop called Berkeley. Subdivision in 1908 and again in 1914–1915 brought residential construction and new residents, many of whom were English, to the area. At the initiative of these newcomers, the village of Berkeley incorporated in 1924.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Berkeley IL
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Berkeley IL.
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