Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Thornton IA

How to Pick a Nursing College near Thornton Iowa

Thornton IA surgical nurse assisting surgeonChoosing the best nursing school near Thornton IA may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Thornton IA Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Thornton IA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. 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 common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

There are multiple degrees offered 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 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Thornton IA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides 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 past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Iowa board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN Training

Thornton IA 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 finished in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some 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.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Thornton IA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.

Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Thornton IAOnce you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Thornton IA or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.

  • 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Thornton IA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Iowa school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Thornton IA 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 colleges 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Thornton IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Thornton IA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Online Nursing Programs

woman attending nursing school online in Thornton IAEnrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many Thornton IA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Thornton IA?

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

Thornton, Iowa

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 422 people, 188 households, and 125 families residing in the city. The population density was 337.6 inhabitants per square mile (130.3/km2). There were 204 housing units at an average density of 163.2 per square mile (63.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.6% White, 0.5% African American, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.7% of the population.

There were 188 households of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.5% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.72.

The median age in the city was 45.3 years. 20.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20% were from 25 to 44; 30.1% were from 45 to 64; and 20.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.5% male and 49.5% female.

Select the Right Nursing Degree near Thornton IA

Thornton IA nursing studentDeciding on the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Thornton IA.

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