How to Pick a Nursing School near Union Iowa
Finding the right nursing school near Union IA may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Union IA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Union IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually 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 more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 generally a 2 year program after acquiring 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 attained 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training 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 course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Union IA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Union IA or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Union IA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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 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 outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Iowa school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Union IA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Union IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Union IA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many Union IA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities 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 busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Union IA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Union 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.
West Union, Iowa
West Union is the home of the North Fayette Valley Community School District, which comprises the communities of West Union; Clermont; Elgin; Wadena; Hawkeye; Fayette, the unincorporated town of Alpha and the surrounding rural areas. North Fayette and Valley Community Schools combined services in 2013 with the high school in West Union and the middle school in Elgin. The new school's mascot is called the Tigerhawks, due to the merging of the schools mascots, the Valley Tigers and the North Fayette Hawks. This agreement came about as a result of low enrollment and less state aid. This agreement will last until the 2015-2016 school year, unless the two districts' school boards decide to end it early. At the end of the 2015-16 school year, the school boards can decide to either: continue the whole-grade sharing agreement, end the agreement and go back to the North Fayette and Valley school districts, or officially consolidate the two districts.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,486 people, 1,106 households, and 626 families residing in the city. The population density was 894.2 inhabitants per square mile (345.3/km2). There were 1,240 housing units at an average density of 446.0 per square mile (172.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.4% White, 1.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.
There were 5,106 households of which 24.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.0% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.4% were non-families. 38.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.80.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Union IA
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Union IA.
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