How to Choose a Nursing Program near Erie Illinois
Searching for the best nursing college near Erie IL may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare 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 many different medical settings, such as Erie IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available 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 just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Erie IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally 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 desire 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Erie IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 certain that the training course is state approved. 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.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Erie IL or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce 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 along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Erie IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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. Many 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 attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Erie 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Erie IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Erie IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Erie IL students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Erie IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Erie 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.
According to the 2010 census, Erie has a total area of 1.449 square miles (3.75 km2), of which 1.44 square miles (3.73 km2) (or 99.38%) is land and 0.009 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.62%) is water.
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 1,589 people, 630 households, and 466 families residing in the village. The population density was 438.2/km² (1.132.7/sq mi). There were 663 housing units at an average density of 472.6 per square mile (182.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.80% White, 0.25% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.38% from other races, and 0.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.88% of the population.
There were 630 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.4% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.0% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.98.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Erie IL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Erie IL.
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