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

How to Find the Right Nursing College near Fulton Illinois

Fulton IL surgical nurse assisting surgeonFinding the best nursing college near Fulton IL may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Fulton IL Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Fulton IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

There are several degree options available 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Fulton IL area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.

LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees

Fulton IL LPN assisting patientThere are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Courses

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Fulton 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. 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 amount of training directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also 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 training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.

Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Fulton ILNow that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Fulton IL or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Fulton IL for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 contact some Fulton 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 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Fulton IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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 mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Fulton IL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Nursing Online Degrees

woman attending nursing school online in Fulton ILEnrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many Fulton IL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Fulton IL?

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

Fulton, Illinois

Fulton is located at 41°52′1″N 90°9′32″W / 41.86694°N 90.15889°W / 41.86694; -90.15889 (41.866873, -90.158834),[5] on the east bank of the Mississippi River near Lock and Dam #13. The most northeastly portion of the county is in the Driftless Area of Illinois, where the Apple River meets the Upper Mississippi River.

According to the 2010 census, Fulton has a total area of 2.334 square miles (6.05 km2), of which 2.27 square miles (5.88 km2) (or 97.26%) is land and 0.064 square miles (0.17 km2) (or 2.74%) is water.[6]

Fulton is a city most known for its pride in its Dutch heritage. This is shown through the addition of a traditional Dutch windmill, De Immigrant, located near the city's dike, which borders the Mississippi. Other local attractions include: the Martin House Museum, Heritage Canyon, the Dutch Days festival held annually on the first weekend of May, and of course its great view of the river.

Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Fulton IL

Fulton IL nursing studentPicking the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential 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 produce 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Fulton IL.

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