How to Select a Nursing College near Colfax Illinois
Choosing the right nursing program near Colfax IL may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Colfax IL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Colfax IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain 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, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Colfax IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally 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 certain that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Colfax IL or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Colfax 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Colfax 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 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 good reputation within the Colfax IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Colfax IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Colfax IL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Colfax IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Colfax 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.
Colfax was laid out on March 22, 1880 by James E. Wood (22 October 1818 – October 1908). Anderson was born in Indiana and had come to McLean County about 1855 as State Missionary for the Christian Church. He stayed and became a farmer, a banker, and a lifelong promoter of Colfax. To locals, Anderson was affectionately known as “Uncle Billy.” The northeastern townships of the county were among the last to be served by railroads. After many false starts the Clinton, Bloomington, and Northwestern Railroad began making its way westward from Kankakee, Illinois. It was aided by contributions in cash and land for the right-of-way by many local farmers. Cropsey, Anchor, and Cooksville were all laid out at the same time as Colfax. The first train arrived in Colfax on 4 July 1880. For two years the track extended only from Kankakee to Colfax and a turntable was installed to send the trains back eastwards. Eventually the tracks were completed to Bloomington. The Railroad soon became part of the Illinois Central system. Colfax is one of several communities in the United States named for the Schuyler Colfax: the U.S Speaker of the House of Representatives during the terms of Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. Colfax also served as Ulysses S. Grant's Vice President. Others communities include Colfax, California; Colfax, Indiana; Colfax, Louisiana; Colfax, North Carolina and Colfax, Washington.
The Original Town of Colfax was a rectangle on the north side of the tracks. There were twelve blocks, each with eight or sixteen small lots, and an additional four blocks, each with a single larger lot, were located along the western edge of the Original Town., for a total of one hundred lots. These faced a widened area of railroad land, which ran the full length of the Original Town. No other public spaces were designated, but Main Street, which ran parallel to the tracks and one block to the north, was wider than the other streets. The depot was on the north side of the tracks and the early elevator, lumber yard and stock yard were on the south side. William Rinker erected the first store, which sold groceries. Another grocery store, Wilson and Santee, followed. The third store was a somewhat larger two-story structure built by D.A. Green, who had moved his operation into Colfax from Potosi near the McLean County–Livingston County border; Green sold groceries, dry goods and drugs.
In 1886 a company was formed to open the first of two coal mines at Colfax. The first to be opened was the shaft just west of town. Frank Seymour and Sons were paid fourteen dollars a foot to sink the shaft. They encountered problems with water, with cave ins and were soon slowed by the need to blast their way through limestone layers before reaching the coal seams. The railroad was unable to bring in sufficient shoring for the shaft and additional timber had to be hauled in by wagon. At 140 feet (43 m) they struck a narrow vein of coal, but excavators had to go down to 392 feet (119 m) before finding a productive 5 1⁄2-foot-thick (1.7 m) seam of coal. Miners were brought in, and the first coal was taken in June 1888. Financial troubles and rapid changes of ownership soon followed. The organization of a company to open a second shaft, this one east of town, shaft began in December 1891, but it was June 1894 before digging could begin.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Colfax IL
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose 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 practicing RN in Colfax IL.
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