How to Find the Right Nursing College near Cowden Illinois
Selecting the right nursing school near Cowden IL may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Cowden IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 commonly 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cowden IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 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 want 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 usually a two year program after obtaining 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 received one of the above degrees, he or she 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 be sure to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish 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 warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Cowden IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Cowden IL or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Cowden IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Cowden 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Cowden IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Cowden IL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some Cowden IL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Cowden IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cowden 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.
As of the census of 2000, there were 650 people, 238 households, and 159 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,526.3 people per square mile (590.7/km²). There were 270 housing units at an average density of 673.4 per square mile (260.6/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.04% White, 0.49% African American, and 1.47% from two or more races.
There were 238 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the village, the population was spread out with 30.6% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.0 males.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Cowden IL
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Cowden IL.
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