How to Choose a Nursing Program near Bunker Hill Illinois
Choosing the right nursing school near Bunker Hill IL may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Bunker Hill IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Bunker Hill 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 position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four 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 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Bunker Hill IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 period of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Bunker Hill IL or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Bunker Hill IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 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 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 companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bunker Hill 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Bunker Hill IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Bunker Hill IL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many Bunker Hill IL students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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 job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue 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 Bunker Hill IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Bunker Hill 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.
Bunker Hill, Illinois
As Euro-Americans arrived in Macoupin County, the site of the future Bunker Hill was settled in 1830. At that time, the area was known as Wolf Ridge, due to the presence of wolves in the vicinity. The first settler was Elijah Lincoln in 1830, who established a land claim one and a half miles southwest of present Bunker Hill. Shortly after he made his claim, Lincoln and a Mr. Tuttle laid out a town, named Lincoln after the first settler. The earliest post office in the area was established in 1833 a mile south of Lincoln. A school house was built around 1831, and was also used as the meeting hall for the Baptist denomination. The first church in the area was built by the Baptists. The second was the Congregational Church in nearby Woodburn.
In 1834, County Surveyor Luke Knowlton entered 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land that now cover the center of Bunker Hill. On 25 December 1835, Moses True of Salisbury, New Hampshire, John Tilden of Boston, Massachusetts, and Robert Smith of Alton, Illinois visited Lincoln and formed a company to plat a town and improve the surrounding countryside. By 1836, the settlement of Lincoln had been abandoned, prompting Moses and company to establish a new town, which became Bunker Hill in 1837.
At 6:45am CST on 19 March 1948, a tornado that originated in Alton, Illinois blew through Bunker Hill, destroying the majority of the town's buildings and killing nineteen people. Although the tornado was only in town for less than a minute, the destruction was devastating. The downtown business district lost many of its buildings. The streets were impassable due to rubble from the storm. The newly renovated Meissner School was one of few buildings virtually undamaged by the tornado. A first aid station was set up in the school, with a temporary morgue in another classroom. By 9:00 am, ambulances from Alton, Carlinville, Litchfield, and Gillespie arrived to transport the injured to local hospitals. By the end of the day, National Guard units, US Army units, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, American Legion, VFW, and Illinois State Police had arrived to restore order and provide assistance to the citizens of Bunker Hill.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Bunker Hill IL
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Bunker Hill IL.
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