How to Choose a Nursing School near Brighton Illinois
Searching for the right nursing program near Brighton IL may feel like a challenging project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Brighton IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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), as an example, 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 are several degree options to choose from 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 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Brighton IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after acquiring 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to obtain 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 supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Brighton IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Brighton IL or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Brighton IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Brighton 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 schools 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Brighton IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Brighton IL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Brighton IL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Brighton IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Brighton 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.
Brighton is a village located mostly in Macoupin County and partially in Jersey County, Illinois. As of the 2010 U.S. census, the village had a total population of 2,254. The village's current mayor is Michael Roberts.
According to the 2010 census, Brighton has a total area of 1.909 square miles (4.94 km2), of which 1.87 square miles (4.84 km2) (or 97.96%) is land and 0.039 square miles (0.10 km2) (or 2.04%) is water.
Brighton is a small community that dates back to the early 19th century, when settlers began the transformation of the Illinois prairie into productive farmland. The village was named after Brighton, Massachusetts. A post office was opened in 1837, and the village was incorporated in 1869. Brighton is also noted for its five star historic museum.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Brighton IL
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Brighton IL.
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