Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Cambridge IL

How to Find the Right Nursing School near Cambridge Illinois

Cambridge IL surgical nurse assisting surgeonFinding the best nursing college near Cambridge IL may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Cambridge IL Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Cambridge IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty 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 in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Keeping 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 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 Degrees

There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cambridge IL area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has received 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees

Cambridge IL LPN assisting patientThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Certificates

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Cambridge IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.

What to Ask Nursing Colleges

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Cambridge ILOnce you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Cambridge IL or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. 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 workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.

  • 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Cambridge IL for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Cambridge 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 colleges you are considering 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 Cambridge IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Cambridge IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Nursing Online Programs

woman attending nursing school online in Cambridge ILEnrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Cambridge IL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Cambridge IL?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cambridge 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.

Cambridge, Illinois

Before 1843, the land where Cambridge is currently located was the private property of a man named Rev. Ithamar Pillsbury, who was very well known amongst the Yankee settlers (migrants from New England and upstate New York who were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the 1600s) who were moving to Henry County in large numbers at that time. Reverend Pillsbury deeded a large portion of his land to the town council and they immediately agreed it was a good place to lay out a town. Lots were sold to incoming migrants and on June 9 of 1843 (after some quarreling among the town founders about how to finance it) construction began on the town. Roads were laid out, post routes established, public buildings erected and people were invited to move there. The original settlers were entirely of New England origins or were Yankees from upstate New York whose families had moved to that place from New England only one generation earlier, in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War. This resulted in Henry County being culturally very contiguous with early New England culture.[5][6]

According to the 2010 census, Cambridge has a total area of 2.154 square miles (5.58 km2), of which 2.14 square miles (5.54 km2) (or 99.35%) is land and 0.014 square miles (0.04 km2) (or 0.65%) is water.[7]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 2,180 people, 856 households, and 595 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,540.2 people per square mile (592.7/km²). There were 896 housing units at an average density of 633.0 per square mile (243.6/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.17% White, 0.78% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.46% of the population.

Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Cambridge IL

Cambridge IL nursing studentChoosing the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Cambridge IL.

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